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Prince Andrew deleted his social media accounts Wednesday, just days after he was stripped of all remaining royal patronages and the use of his HRH title.
Visitors to Andrew’s longstanding Twitter account, @thedukeofyork, were today greeted with a bald message stating “This account does not exist.”
Andrew’s Instagram account, @hrhthedukeofyork, was still active but had been apparently switched to a “private” setting, while his Facebook account, which has the same handle as his Instagram page, was still active Wednesday, however it is believed they are in the process of being deleted.
A source close to Andrew told The Daily Beast that the changes were being made to reflect Andrew’s new, non-royal position.
The dramatic silencing of Andrew on social media came less than a week after the queen issued a short and brutal statement bringing an abrupt end to Andrew’s royal career as the family belatedly sought to distance themselves from the toxic royal who is fighting a civil court action by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges Andrew raped her three times.
The statement read: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending the case as a private citizen.”
The queen’s long-delayed move is believed to have been triggered by increasing unhappiness with Andrew in the army, and asked about Andrew on LBC radio today, Britain’s armed forces minister James Heappey said: “My personal reflection is his associations are horrifically ill-advised and he has caused enormous challenges for the royal family in a year when we should be celebrating the extraordinary service of Her Majesty the queen as she reaches her platinum jubilee. But I’m also a minister of the crown and it would not be appropriate for me to give any further comment that might risk being too colorful.”
The most important title that Andrew lost last week was colonel of the Grenadier Guards, where his continuing presence as official figurehead had become a divisive issue among the historically extremely royalist regiment.
That title has now returned to the queen.
The Daily Mail reports that Lt. Gen. Walker sent an email to all the members of the “Grens” congratulating the queen saying: “I am sure you will offer a personal ‘Three Cheers’ for the colonel, an appointment she first held in 1942, 80 years to the day on February 24 this year.”
In a further blow, York Racecourse said it was looking to rename horse race the Duke of York Stakes, a famous sprint held there since 1895.