LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II’s second son Prince Andrew, who is facing a US civil case for sexual assault, has given up his honorary military and charitable roles, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.
“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” a statement said.“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
The announcement came after a judge in New York on Wednesday ruled against the 61-year-old prince, who had tried to have the case against him thrown out.Andrew, a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot who flew in the 1982 Falklands War, is accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Giuffre when she was 17.
Giuffre alleges the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates.Andrew, who is ninth in line to the throne, was forced to step back from royal duties in late 2019, after a disastrous television interview in which he tried to defend his links to Epstein.Public outrage at the time saw several charities and associations distance
themselves from him, and he has since repeatedly denied Giuffre’s allegations. He has rarely been seen in public since the television interview. The announcement came after 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.