Prince Andrew’s (The Duke of York) military titles and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced.
Prince Andrew, 61, will also cease using the title His Royal Highness in an official capacity, a royal source declared.
It comes as he handles a US civil action over sexual assault allegations – claims he has consistently refuted.
An informat close to the duke said he would “continue to maintain himself” against the lawsuit brought in New York by Virginia Giuffre.
But the source insisted a judge’s verdict on Wednesday that the civil action could begin was “not a judgement on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations”.
Buckingham Palace explained in a statement: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
All Prince Andrew’s roles have been returned to the Queen immediate effect, and will be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family, a source declared.
The issue had been widely discussed the Royal Family, the source said.
Like Harry and Meghan, Prince Andrew retains his title HRH but will not use it in any official capacity.
The Queen and Prince Andrew
Image caption, All of Prince Andrew’s roles have been immediately returned to his mother, the Queen
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said it had no comment about the duke’s military titles being handed back to the Queen, and that it was a matter for the Palace.
On Thursday, a letter – released by anti-monarchy pressure group Republic – was signed by more than 150 Royal Navy, RAF and Army veterans asking the Queen to strip Prince Andrew of his eight British military titles.
Lt Stuart Hunt, who served in The 1st Royal Tank Regiment and signed the letter, welcomed the prince losing his military titles but suggested the matter should have been resolved sooner.
The 52-year-old told the PA News Agency: “It’s an unsavoury business… I’m just glad he’s not associated the military now.
“Whether he’s guilty or not, he has brought things into disrepute… He’s not fit to serve in an honorary rank. He has forgone that right by getting into this sort of situation.”
Analysis box by Sean Coughlan, royal correspondent
The response from Buckingham Palace has been swift and almost brutal.
The Royal Family is being firmly distanced from the toxic fall-out from the allegations against Prince Andrew.
He will have to defend himself against Virginia Giuffre as a private citizen, there will be no more His Royal Highness in this court case.
This is claimed to have been by mutual agreement, a stepping back rather than something imposed.
But the military titles and royal roles will go to other members of the family, which means they won’t be coming back to Prince Andrew whatever the outcome.
The door is being closed on a return to public life.
Although he does seem to be keeping his constitutional role as “counsellor of state”, one of four royals who can undertake the Queen’s official duties, should she be unwell.
The court case will still make headlines, and there will be concerns it could cloud a jubilee year, but this unambiguous decision will have already answered the inevitable calls for his removal from his remaining public roles.
Prince Andrew has strongly denied any wrongdoing – and his representatives say that fighting the case is a “marathon and not a sprint”.
Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth removes Prince Andrew, Prince Andrew memes, prince Andrew, trending BBC news, who is Prince Andrew
Who is Prince Andrew to Queen Elizabeth?
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG, GCVO, CD, is a member of the British royal family. The third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Andrew is ninth in the line of succession to the British throne.
Born: February 19, 1960 (age 61 years), Buckingham Palace, London, United KingdomFull name: Andrew Albert Christian Edward
Spouse: Sarah, Duchess of York (m. 1986–1996)
Children: Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie
Siblings: Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Anne, Princess Royal
Parents: Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Education: Britannia Royal Naval College (1979–1980)
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