Prince Andrew, who faces a civil case in the United States for sexual assault, lost his honorary positions at the head of military regiments and charities on Thursday and will no longer use the title of Royal Highness.
“With the approval and agreement of Queen” Elizabeth II, her mother, “the military affiliations and royal patronages of the Duke of York were returned,” announced the Buckingham Palace in a short statement.
hours before, more than 150 veterans british army they had asked the monarch to withdraw their military titles to this former helicopter pilot, distinguished as a hero of the Falklands War (1982) in which he participated at the age of 22.
They accused him of not complying with the obligations of “probity, honesty and honorable behavior” that the British military have.
What’s more, will cease to use the title of Royal Highness, specified a source from the royal house. “The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and will defend himself in this case as a private citizen,” the palace statement added.
A New York judge on Wednesday rejected a request by the prince’s lawyers to dismiss the sexual assault report brought against him by Virginia Guiffre, an American who accuses him of having abused her in 2001, when I was 17 years old.
Guiffre is one of the victims of the sexual crimes of the American financier Jeffrey Epstein, convicted of pedophilia by a Florida court and who committed suicide in a New York prison in August 2019, where he awaited a new trial for trafficking and child abuse.
Andrew’s friendship, 61 years old, with the american, which he defended in a highly controversial interview with the BBC in November 2019 caused a big scandal which forced him to withdraw from public life.
The case of Andrés, considered by all as the “favorite son” of Elizabeth II, is one of the many scandals that damage the image of the British monarchy with which the 95-year-old sovereign has recently had to deal.
After the decision of the American justice, the Duke, who strongly denies the accusations, he will have to face a civil trial, in which he would initially respond by means of a recorded statement in the United Kingdom.
Unless he appeals and is successful or the two sides reach a financial agreement, the hearings could be held in the fall.
On Wednesday, one of Giuffre’s attorneys, David Boiessaid to the BBC that his client did not rule out an agreement, but that the money would not be enough.
“It is very important” to her “that this case be resolved in a way that gives recognition to both her and the other victims,” she stressed.
Go to trial, risk revelations and defeat or reach an agreement that sounds like a confession, for Prince Andrew “there is no good solution”, he considers Anna Whitelock, historian specialized in the monarchy in the City University of London.
And a financial deal would raise questions about “where the money came from,” explains Whitelock.
According to the British press, the prince has recently resolved a dispute over a debt of 6.6 million pounds (nine million dollars, eight million euros), which would now allow him to sell a chalet in Switzerland that he bought in 2014 for a sum that would amount to to 18 million pounds.
In recent months, Prince Andrew has “given the impression of being a slippery rabbit” or “hiding behind his mother’s skirts at his Scottish estate in Balmoral so as not to receive the judicial documents that were sent to him”, mocked the former royal columnist Jennie Bond in Sky News.
“But what a shame for a 95-year-old woman to have to question her 61-year-old son about allegations of sexual misconduct,” he added, considering that “to back him up” before “I needed to know the truth.”