The Royal Family recently made headlines by stripping Prince Andrew of his military titles and royal patronages due to the sex abuse court case against him that is moving forward in New York. According to royal expert Kristin Contino, Prince William was a major influencer in Queen Elizabeth's decision to take action. "William, in fact, was very involved in this decision, and it's been said that he met with the queen in person ahead of their announcement that came out last week," Contino told to Us Weekly. "I think that really shows – and I think that's interesting – his growing influence and how she trusts his judgment and is looking for his advice."
William is currently second In line for the British throne behind his father, Prince Charles. "I think that's a great sign of things to come for William and how much she is relying on talking to him and his counsel," Cortino continued. "Charles, of course, was involved in that decision too," the author told the outlet. "But I think [what] a lot of people thought was interesting is William's heavy involvement in that. So I think she really is leaning on her two heirs at this time [to] help make those sort of big family decisions."
On Jan. 13, Buckingham Palace released a statement regarding Prince Andrew and the steps being taken regarding his troubling connections to Jeffrey Epstein and the sexual abuse allegations. "With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen," the statement read. "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."
The announcement comes a day after a federal judge denied Andrew's request to have a civil suit against him thrown out. The lawsuit was filed by Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. The allegations stem from related accusations by Giuffre that Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell trafficked and abused her when she was a teenager. She's claimed that the abuse began after she began working at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
According to Huffpost, the lawsuit claims that Prince Andrew was a friend of Epstein and that he sexually assaulted Giuffre on multiple occasions. "During each of the aforementioned incidents, Plaintiff was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew," the lawsuit states. It goes on to explain that Giuffre "feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth, and authority."
Additionally, the legal filing says that Andrew's alleged "sexual assault and battery of Plaintiff have caused her, and continue to cause her, significant emotional and psychological distress and harm." Notably, in 2021 Giuffre issued a statement to ABC News, which was shared at the same time she filed her civil case. "I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me," she said in the statement.
"The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one's life by speaking out and demanding justice," Giuffre added. "I did not come to this decision lightly," she added. "As a mother and a wife, my family comes first – and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates – but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down."