Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday that the military titles and royal patronships of Prince Andrew, involved in a case of alleged sexual abuse of a minor, have been returned to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
In a statement, the British Royal House has also indicated that the Duke of York “will continue without public work and will carry out the defense of his case as a private citizen.” According to a Buckingham Palace source, cited by the BBC, he will also not receive the treatment of royal highness in an official capacity.
A New York judge on Wednesday refused to file the complaint filed against Prince Andrew, despite the confidentiality agreement signed between the parties more than a decade ago.
The whistleblower, Virginia Giuffre, alleges that the prince abused her when she was 17 years old, an alleged victim of the human trafficking ring orchestrated by the late businessman Jeffrey Epstein, who took his life in prison after being arrested in 2019.
The prince has denied the accusations and has tried to overturn the civil complaint filed by Giuffre, appealing as the main argument to an extrajudicial agreement signed by the plaintiff and by Epstein in 2009 and according to which the victim would have agreed not to take any legal action against other persons.
The judge’s decision implies that the lawyers of Isabel II’s son must present the evidence requested by the prosecution in case they decide to continue to face the complaint and do not opt for an agreement, which could take months and even years to process.
Prince Andrew already resigned in November 2019 from his public functions as a member of the British royal family, after a controversial interview on the BBC in which he tried to distance himself from Epstein’s plot.