The British Queen Elizabeth II has withdrawn all military ranks and royal patronage from her son Prince Andrew, who has been sued for abuse allegations in the USA. Andrew will defend himself in the process as a private citizen, Buckingham Palace in London announced on Thursday.
“With the consent and agreement of the Queen, the military ranks and royal patrons of the Duke of York were returned to the Queen,” the statement said.
Plaintiff Virginia Giuffre accuses Andrew in a civil case in the United States of having repeatedly abused her as a minor. She claims to have previously been the victim of an abuse ring set up by US multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and his ex-partner Ghislaine Maxwell. Maxwell was recently found guilty of several counts in a US criminal case and faces a long prison sentence. Epstein committed suicide in 2019 while in custody. Andrew categorically denies all allegations.
Richter rejected objections from Prince Andrew’s lawyers
Until recently, the 61-year-old prince’s lawyers had hoped to nip the lawsuit in the bud. But the judge of the New York court rejected their objections on Wednesday. If there is no out-of-court settlement, Andrew faces a lawsuit.
More than 150 British military veterans had asked the Queen in an open letter on Thursday to release Prince Andrew from his roles in the military because he had not lived up to the high standards of honorable behavior associated with the ranks. “If this were any other senior military officer, it would be out of the question that he would still be in office,” the letter said.