The Duke of York has been stripped of all military titles and patronages and will no longer use his HRH title, Buckingham Palace has said.
He will continue to defend his sexual abuse case as a “private citizen,” declaring it a “marathon not a sprint.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson 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 Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
The statement issued by Buckingham Palace
Credit: Buckingham Palace
A royal source said all of the Duke’s roles had been handed back to the Queen with immediate effect for redistribution to other members of the Royal Family. They will not be returned to the Duke.
Prince Andrew, 61, will no longer use the style “His Royal Highness” in any official capacity.
The decision is understood to have been taken following lengthy discussions amongst the wider Royal Family about the Duke’s legal predicament and the wider impact on the monarchy.
An attempt to have the case dismissed on a technicality was thwarted by a New York judge this week, leaving the Duke facing the prospect of a trial by jury.
Judge Lewis Kaplan unequivocally rejected the Duke’s motion, handing down a 46-page ruling on Wednesday that contained a point-by-point rebuttal of his arguments.
A source close to the Duke said: “Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling.
“However, it was not a judgement on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations. This is a marathon not a sprint and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”
The Duke had until now, clung onto his honorary military titles, including the coveted Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, despite pressure from senior military figures.
With his personal reputation now deemed beyond repair, the focus has shifted to ensuring that the Queen and the wider institution suffers no further humiliation from the scandal, particularly in the run-up to the Platinum Jubilee.
A letter signed by more than 150 Royal Navy, RAF and Army veterans was sent to Her Majesty on Thursday, urging her to strip her second son of all ranks and titles within the Armed Forces.
“Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post,” they wrote, in the letter issued by the 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.”