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Queen Elizabeth strips Prince Andrew of military titles and royal patronages

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Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and royal patronages by Queen Elizabeth after a U.S. judge ruled his trial for sex offenses could go ahead.

The palace said in a statement: “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.”

Andrew is facing a civil trial for sexual assault in the U.S., after a judge ruled on Wednesday the case could go ahead. He denies all charges.

Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and royal patronages by the queen. (Photo: Getty Images)
Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and royal patronages by the queen. (Photo: Getty Images)

His accuser, Virginia Giuffre, claims she was trafficked to have sex with the queen’s second son when she was 17 and a minor under U.S. law.

Judge Lewis A Kaplan dismissed a motion by the duke’s lawyers to have the civil case thrown out after they argued Giuffre had waived her right to pursue Andrew by signing a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling,” a spokesperson for the royal told Variety. “However, it was not a judgement on the merits of Ms. Giuffre’s allegations. This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”

The move to remove his titles comes after calls from veterans to strip him of his honorary military roles.

Prince Andrew was pictured in the rear of a car while being driven from his house near Windsor Castle on Thursday. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Andrew was pictured in the rear of a car while being driven from his house near Windsor Castle on Thursday. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

In an open letter to the queen, more than 150 former members of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force (RAF) and British Army described their “upset and anger” at Andrew retaining the titles, saying his position was “untenable.”

The letter said: “Please do not leave it any longer.”

The queen is head of the armed forces, and honorary military appointments are in her gift.

The duke had held the title of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest and most emblematic regiments in the British Army.

His other British honorary military titles were: Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment; Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; Deputy Colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own); and Royal Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

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