Move comes after Andrew’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit against him which accuses him of sexual assault.
Published On 13 Jan 2022
Queen Elizabeth II’s second son Prince Andrew, who is facing a US civil case for sexual assault, has given up his honorary military and charitable roles, Buckingham Palace has said.
“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” a 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 came after Andrew’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit against him that accuses him of sexual abuse.
A royal source said Andrew would no longer use the title “His Royal Highness” in any official capacity and his other roles would be distributed among other members of the Royal family. They would not return to Prince Andrew.
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke of York: pic.twitter.com/OCeSqzCP38
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 13, 2022
Andrew, a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot who flew in the 1982 Falklands War, has been accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Giuffre when she was 17.
Giuffre has alleged the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates.
The announcement came after more than 150 Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army veterans wrote to the queen, calling on her to strip Andrew of his ranks and titles in the armed forces.
The 95-year-old head of state is the commander-in-chief of the army, navy and air force.
“Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post,” the veterans wrote in a joint letter made public by the anti-monarchy pressure group Republic.
“Officers of the British armed forces must adhere to the very highest standards of probity, honesty and honourable conduct.
“These are standards which Prince Andrew has fallen well short of,” they wrote, adding that he had “brought the services he is associated with into disrepute”.
Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull, reporting from London, said Andrew has become toxic to the monarchy.
“He has potentially become toxic to the queen. He is her favourite son, her second son.
“This is a year of huge importance to her [as it marks her platinum jubilee celebration, 70 years on the throne], and clearly, he is now deeper-than-ever embroiled in sexual assault allegations that he would have hoped until very recently could have been potentially put to one side,” Hull added.
Senior members of the British royal family have typically been appointed as honorary heads of military units, with the queen’s approval.
Andrew was honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards, whose soldiers guard Buckingham Palace in their distinctive bearskin hats and red tunics.
Royal patronages are associations with charities and other organisations.
Al Jazeera and news agencies