AceShowbiz - Prince Andrew has been stripped of his remaining military affiliations as well as his royal patronages amid his sexual abuse scandal. The Buckingham Palace confirmed the news in a statement on Thursday, January 13.
"With the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen," Buckingham Palace said in the statement. "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."
A royal source added to NBC News that Prince Andrew "will no longer use the style 'His Royal Highness' in any official capacity." It was also said that the Queen personally told the Duke about the decision during a face-to-face meeting. The embattled royal was seen looking stony-faced as he headed to Windsor Castle on Thursday morning, The Post revealed.
During the private moment, the 95-year-old monarch told the prince that in addition to not being able to use the HRH title again in "in any capacity," he will be left to fight his lawsuit in the U.S. as a private citizen. Sources claimed that Prince Charles and Prince William discussed the issue with the palace as well.
The decision arrived less than 24 hours after a U.S. district judge rejected his motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre that alleges he sexually abused her when she was 17. Back in August 21, Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the Duke of York at the U.S. Districk Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing him of sexually abusing her on three separate occasions and knowing that she was being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell.
The complaint stated, "Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew's wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account." She also claimed that the alleged sexual and physical abuse caused her "significant emotional and psychological distress and harm." She is seeking damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Prince Andrew is the fifth royal to be stripped of the HRH title. Princess Diana and Sarah, Duchess of York, lost the title following their divorces from Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, respectively. Later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lost theirs as it was part of their deal with the Queen when they decided to step down as senior royal members.