Prince Andrew loses military titles and patronages

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GBNEWS24DESK//

Britain’s Royal Family has stripped Prince Andrew of his military roles and royal patronages and said he will no longer be known as “His Royal Highness”, as the second son of the Queen fights a lawsuit in the United States in which he is accused of sexual abuse.

The 61-year-old Duke of York was forced to step down from public duties in 2019 because of his connections to convicted US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and after a disastrous interview on the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme, which he had hoped would clear his name, reports Al Jazeera.

“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” a Buckingham Palace statement said on Thursday.

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

The move strips the prince of all royal connections and comes after the prince’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit against him in which Virginia Giuffre accuses him of sexual abuse when she was 17.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Giuffre, who is now 38, could pursue claims that Andrew battered her and intentionally caused her emotional distress while Epstein – a financier who killed himself in jail in August 2019 just before he was due to stand trial on sex trafficking charges – was trafficking her.

The prince has denied Giuffre’s accusations that he forced her to have sex more than two decades ago at a London home of Epstein’s former partner and associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two Epstein properties.

In the BBC interview, he denied ever having sex with Giuffre, but conceded his continued association with Epstein – even after he was convicted of soliciting prostitution – had let the royal family down.

Andrew described Maxwell, who was convicted of sex trafficking and abuse by a court in New York this month, as a friend.
‘Disrepute’

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