Prince Andrew has been stripped of his honorary military roles and patronages amid the sexual assault lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre.
Buckingham Palace released a statement Thursday, which read: “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.”
The roles will be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family.
The statement comes after more than 150 military veterans insisted Andrew should be stripped of his honorary military roles in an open letter sent to the Queen.
The letter read: “We are writing to you as former members of Britain’s armed forces. All of us have served our country and are proud to have done so. For that reason, we are particularly upset and angry that Prince Andrew remains a member of the armed forces and continues to hold military titles, positions and ranks, including that of Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy.
“It’s been eleven years since the press revealed Prince Andrew’s inappropriate friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Since that time Prince Andrew has shown himself to be uncooperative and less than truthful about that relationship. He has made several unbelievable claims during a BBC interview in late 2019, which only led to him ‘stepping back’ but not stepping down.
“Now that Ghislaine Maxwell has been convicted of sex trafficking, a number of facts of the matter have been established in a court of law. Regardless of the result of Virginia Giuffre’s civil case against Prince Andrew, his position in Britain’s armed forces is now untenable. Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post.”
It continued, “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. It is hard not to see, when senior officers are reportedly describing him as ‘toxic,’ that he has brought the services he is associated with into disrepute.
“We are therefore asking that you take immediate steps to strip Prince Andrew of all his military ranks and titles and, if necessary, that he be dishonourably discharged. We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as head of state and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force. These steps could have been taken at any time in the past 11 years. Please do not leave it any longer.”
Prince Andrew will also no longer be allowed to use his style “His Royal Highness” (HRH) in any official capacity, palace sources confirmed.
The measures to be taken against Andrew were “widely discussed amongst the Royal Family” as he gets ready to head to trial.
It was recently revealed that U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan had rejected an argument by Andrew’s lawyers that Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out at an early stage because of an old legal settlement she had reached with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier she claims set up sexual encounters with the prince.
Kaplan said the $500,000 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre didn’t involve the Prince and didn’t bar a suit against him now.
Giuffre sued the Prince in August, saying she was coerced into sexual encounters with Andrew in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell.