Prince Andrew has had his military titles and royal patronages taken away as a civil sexual assault court case against him in the US moves forward.
What has Buckingham Palace said?
“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen,” the palace said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
The civil case has been brought by Virginia Giuffre, who claims Andrew “committed sexual assault and battery” upon her when she was a teenager.
Virginia Giuffre says she was 17 when she was trafficked to have sex with Prince Andrew – claims he denies. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock
• What has Prince Andrew been accused of?
Ms Giuffre alleges that she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was a minor under US law, claims strongly denied by the duke.
Andrew failed in a legal bid to get Ms Guiffre’s case against him thrown out.
Which military roles are being handed back?
Following a 22-year career in the Royal Navy, Andrew held several honorary military titles.
These were suspended after he stepped back from public duties in 2019, but he had retained the roles, effectively leaving the affected regiments in limbo.
The positions he is now relinquishing are:
• Colonel of the Grenadier Guards
• Royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers
• Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, (Canada)
• Colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment
The Duke of York, pictured in 2003, was colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment
• Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Lancers
• Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps
• Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment
• Colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers of Canada
• Colonel-in-chief of the Queen’s York Rangers
• Colonel-in-chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
• Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth
• Commodore-in-chief of the Fleet Air Arm
Prince Andrew was also an honorary Royal Navy vice admiral, but it is unclear what will happen to that role.
What will happen to the military titles?
The military posts have been handed back to the Queen with immediate effect and they will be redistributed among other members of the Royal Family.
The Queen is head of the armed forces and honorary military appointments are in her gift.
The military posts will not be returned to the Duke of York.
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What other patronages could the duke lose?
Although many charities relinquished their ties with him after 2019, Andrew was still listed on the Royal Family’s website as being a patron or member of around 100 charities and organisations, including hospital trusts, cricket clubs and schools.
They included the Army Officers’ Golfing Society, Berkshire County Cricket Club, Killyleagh Yacht Club, Horris Hill School in Hampshire, and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
On Thursday it was revealed he had lost his honorary titles at Royal Portrush and Royal County Down golf clubs in Northern Ireland.
It is thought Andrew will still be known as the Duke of York
What else will change?
The Duke will no longer use the style “His Royal Highness” in any official capacity.
Will he still be called The Duke of York?
It is not known if the palace’s announcement covers the Duke of York title but it’s thought to be unlikely.
Royal commentator and biographer Christopher Warwick has previously told Sky News that while the Queen can appoint dukes, it takes an act of parliament to remove their titles “which wouldn’t cover Andrew or the monarchy in glory”.