Prince Andrew has officially been stripped of his military titles and Royal patronages amid a sex abuse court case against him that is moving forward in New York. In a statement from Buckingham Palace it was announced, "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 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 Jeffrey 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.
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke of York: pic.twitter.com/OCeSqzCP38— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 13, 2022
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."