Queen Elizabeth strips Prince Andrew of military titles after judge says abuse lawsuit will proceed
Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles after failing to get a sexual abuse lawsuit against him dismissed.
Buckingham Palace said Thursday that Andrew's "military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the queen" and that this step was being taken "with the queen's approval and agreement." He will no longer use the "His Royal Highness" title in an official capacity, and his "roles have been handed back to the queen with immediate effect for redistribution to other members of the royal family," a source told CNN.
This comes after a judge ruled on Wednesday that Virginia Giuffre's civil lawsuit accusing Andrew of sexual assault can move forward. She has alleged she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations. He did so in 2019 in an infamous BBC interview that was widely panned after he said Epstein "conducted himself in a manner unbecoming." In the aftermath of the interview, Andrew announced he would step back from public duties "for the foreseeable future" because his "former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption."
Going forward, Andrew "will continue to not undertake any public duties," Buckingham Palace said Thursday, adding that he "is defending this case as a private citizen." His trial looks set to go forward this fall.