Prince Andrew gives up military titles, patronages



Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp

World News

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Queen Elizabeth II's second son, Prince Andrew, was on Thursday effectively stripped of his position in royal life, in a dramatic move as he faces a US civil case for sexual assault. British media quoted an unnamed royal source as saying he would no longer use the "His Royal Highness" (HRH) title, which designates senior members of the royal family, in any capacity. The move came after Buckingham Palace announced that he had given up his honorary military titles and charitable roles as the US case looms. "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," a statement read. A New York judge on Wednesday dismissed an attempt by Andrew's lawyers to have the case brought by Virginia Giuffre thrown out. Giuffre, 38, accuses Andrew – often called the Queen's "favourite son" – of sexually assaulting her in 2001 when she was 17, claiming she was delivered to him by Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew, who strenuously denies the allegation, was forced to quit public life after a calamitous 2019 interview in which he claimed to have no memory of meeting Giuffre and defended his friendship with convicted paedophile Epstein, who was found hanged in prison in 2019. Public outrage at the time saw several charities and associations distance themselves from him and he has rarely been seen in public since. On Thursday, he was seen being driven from his house near Windsor Castle, west of London, an AFP photographer said. More than 150 Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army veterans wrote to the Queen, calling on her to strip Andrew of his ranks and titles in the armed forces.