Prince Andrew returns military titles and use of 'His Royal Highness'

Prince Andrew returns military titles and use of 'His Royal Highness'

PRINCE ANDREW'S military titles and royal patronages have been return to the Queen, a statement from Buckingham Palace has said.

"With the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen," the statement reads.

"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."

It comes as he faces a US civil action over sexual assault allegations from Virginia Giuffre, claims he denies.

His lawyers had argued the case should be thrown out as Ms Giuffre had signed a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2009.

Andrew's attorney, Andrew Brettler, said Ms Giuffre had "waived her rights" to sue other defendants in relation to alleged sex crimes committed by Epstein.

However, Judge Lewis A Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, said the "2009 Agreement cannot be said to demonstrate, clearly and unambiguously, that the parties intended the instrument "directly," "primarily," to "substantially" to benefit Prince Andrew."

The return of his roles to the Queen all mean he will no longer use the title 'His Royal Highness' in any official capacity, but still retains it, similar to how Harry and Meghan chose to distance themselves from the royal family in 2021.

Any duties and roles that he had will be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family, BBC reports.

An anti-monarchy group by the name of Republic yesterday published a letter to the Queen calling on her to strip Prince Andrew of all his ranks and titles within the British armed forces, which he still retains.

The letter says Prince Andrew's position is "untenable" and that "were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post".

The letter included signatures from more than 150 veterans, who urged Queen to strip Andrew of all his ranks and titles.

After the announcement from the Palace, Graham Smith, speaking for the group said:

"The royals have always resisted taking any action against Prince Andrew until it is absolutely unavoidable. Yet still we're unclear whether he retains his military rank in Britain's armed forces.

"They have very carefully couched their decision in obscure language, but ending an affiliation is not the same as being stripped of his rank and status."

He asked whether the Prince still holds a military rank "in any of our nation's armed forces? Yes or no?"

The group also said in a tweet that he is still a Vice Admiral, "a position given to him by his mum as a birthday present."