Prince Andrew has handed back his military titles to The Queen as fallout from his upcoming civil sexual abuse case grows.
Buckingham Palace released a statement overnight, confirming: “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.”
It is also understood that Prince Andrew will also no longer use his “HRH” title, though he will still be known as Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
The news comes after a New York judge ruled Prince Andrew’s civil sexual abuse case will go ahead despite his legal team’s efforts to get the case dismissed based on a loophole in an agreement made in 2009 between his accuser Virginia Giuffre and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Back in 2009, Giuffre agreed to a civil settlement with Epstein for US$500,000 (around AUD$695,000). The agreement contained a liability release for any other “person or entity” who could have been a defendant against claims by Giuffre.
But this week, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that this wording wasn’t a sufficient enough interpretation to apply to Prince Andrew.
Judge Kaplan noted said it would be premature to consider this could “cast doubt” on her claims—instead, the Duke of York could do so at his upcoming trial.
Prince Andrew has been accused of sexual abuse by Giuffre, who says she was forced to have sex with the Prince back in the late 1990s when Virginia was below 18 years of age.
She alleges this activity occurred at the mansion of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and at the London home of Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently found guilty of five out of six charges of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.
The military titles Andrew has now been stripped of include Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland.
He was also Colonel-in-Chief of 9th/12th Royal Lancers, the Royal Irish Regiment, the Small Arms School Corps and the Yorkshire Regiment.
Andrew also held military roles in both Canada and New Zealand, both of which he has also handed back to The Queen.