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Prince Andrew stripped of royal patronages and military affiliations

·3 min read
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  • Virginia Giuffre
    Alleged victim of the underage sex trafficking ring operated by Jeffrey Epstein
  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born 1960)

Britain's Prince Andrew has been stripped of all his royal patronages and military affiliations — with the queen's approval. The announcement came a day after a U.S. district judge rejected Andrew's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, alleging that he sexually abused her when she was 17.

"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Thursday.

All of his formal roles have been handed back to Queen Elizabeth and will be redistributed to other members of the royal family, according to a royal source. He also will no longer be using "His Royal Highness" in any official capacities.

Andrew's lawyers had argued that the lawsuit that is now moving ahead should be thrown out because of a 2009 deal that Guiffre signed with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Judge Lewis Kaplan said the 2009 deal "cannot be seen" to benefit Andrew.

Britain's Prince Andrew attends with Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, (2ndR) and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. / Credit: CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images
Britain's Prince Andrew attends with Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, (2ndR) and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. / Credit: CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images

It is possible that Andrew will decide to fight the case in court, but given the negative light that process would shine on his family, most analysts see it as highly unlikely. As a U.K. resident, he could also simply refuse to cooperate with a trial if it does go ahead, but that tactic could be disastrous.

The prince's best option, CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said, is to try to reach a settlement with Giuffre out of court, to stop the case going to trial. But Giuffre would have to agree to that option, and she has indicated no inclination to do so.

On Friday, Giuffre said in a tweet that she was "pleased" with the judge's ruling, as it would give her "the chance to continue to expose the truth."

"My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law & must be held accountable," she said in the tweets, which included thanks to her legal team and a message of solidarity with the "countless other survivors of sexual abuse & trafficking."

I’m pleased with Judge Kaplan’s ruling yesterday that allows my case against Prince Andrew to go forward. I’m glad I will have the chance to continue to expose the truth & I am deeply grateful to my extraordinary legal team. 1/3

— Virginia Giuffre (@VRSVirginia) January 14, 2022

Giuffre, who claims the prince sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions when she was a teenager, told CBS News in 2020 that Andrew "should be panicking," and that the royal "needs to be held accountable."

Prince Andrew denies all the accusations and has never been charged with a crime. He claims to have no recollection of meeting Giuffre, despite the two of them being photographed together when Giuffre was a teenager. Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted in December of grooming and trafficking minors for sexual abuse, appears in the same photo.

Once regarded as a handsome, playboy prince, Andrew's name is now indelibly stained by his friendships with convicted sex offenders Epstein and Maxwell.

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