Queen strips Prince Andrew of military titles after sex assault case sent to trial

Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and will defend a civil sexual assault as a “private citizen”, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.

“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen,” the Palace said in a statement.

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

Andrew will no longer be known as His Royal Highness.

Virginia Giuffre is suing Andrew in a federal court in New York alleging she was forced to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein’s friends – including the Duke of York – when she was 17. Prince Andrew strongly denies the allegations against him. 

Meanwhile, Ghislaine Maxwell is no longer fighting to hide information – including eight names – from Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit against her, her lawyers say.

Lawyers for Ms Giuffre, who has accused Maxwell and Epstein of sexually abusing her, have long fought to unseal the names of eight “John Does” mentioned in their 2015 civil lawsuit.

Maxwell’s attorneys pushed back, but on Thursday they appeared to give up the fight.


Princess Beatrice and Sarah Ferguson may be questioned in Prince Andrew’s sex assault case

Princess Beatrice and Sarah Ferguson could be questioned as part of Prince Andrew’s sexual assault case.

The Duke of York’s eldest daughter and ex-wife may be cross-examined on camera by Judge Lewis Kaplan after the Duke of York’s attempt to have the case dismissed was thrown out on Wednesday, meaning he faces trial in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit.

The 61-year-old has vehemently denied Ms Giuffre’s allegations she was forced to have sex with him more than two decades ago.

His legal team has been asked to supply evidence to support his claims he took Princess Beatrice to a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, Surrey, on the night Ms Giuffre alleges he had sex with her.

Thomas Kingsley has more.

Stuti Mishra14 January 2022 07:15


Prominent figures react to news of Prince Andrew’s sex abuse trial

As the Duke of York has been stripped of his titles, prominent figures weighed in on the news with some calling it “horrible” news for the Queen and others calling it justice.

Mark Stephens, a media lawyer, has said Prince Andrew’s sexual assault trial could potentially spark a “constitutional crisis” for the royal family, adding the monarch has “no good options”.

Here are some of the reactions:

Stuti Mishra14 January 2022 06:29


What next for the Queen’s favourite son?

Is 2022 going to be even worse for Queen and her favourite son than notorious ‘Annus horribilis’?

“Thirty years ago, Queen Elizabeth delivered a speech that has gone down in history.

Speaking in November 1992 at the Guildhall in London, the address was to formally mark the 40th anniversary of her ascension to the throne.

Under usual circumstances, it might have been an occasion for the Queen to reflect on the moment, what she believed she had accomplished so far as Britain’s unelected head of state, and how she foresaw the years ahead.

As it was, worse was to come for the royals and their public image following the death of Diana in a car crash in Paris in August 1997, an event to which the Queen was accused of responding coldly. Some were ready to write off the royal family.

Read Chief US Correspondent Andrew Buncombe’s piece for The Independent Voices here.

Stuti Mishra14 January 2022 05:30


Virginia Giuffre says Prince Andrew sex assault trial ‘a chance to expose the truth’

Virginia Giuffre has said that the Prince Andrew sex assault trial will be “a chance to expose the truth” after a US judge allowed her case against the Queen’s son to proceed.

Her first comments on a federal judge’s decision to deny Andrews motion to dismiss her lawsuit comes after his military titles and royal patronages were stripped off by the Queen.

Stuti Mishra14 January 2022 04:45


Will Meghan Markle be called to speak at Andrew’s civil trial?

Meghan Markle could be called as a witness in Prince Andrew’s sexual assault lawsuit, according to Virginia Giuffre’s attorney.

David Boise told The Daily Beast last month that Ms Markle may have “important knowledge” of allegations that Andrew abused his Ms Giuffre three times when she was 17.

Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Wednesday that Ms Giuffre’s civil lawsuit alleging she suffered battery and intentional emotional damage could move forward. Andrew has strongly denied the claims against him.

Read the full story here.

Bevan Hurley14 January 2022 04:00


‘This is really quite sad for the Queen’: Prominent figures react to news of Prince Andrew’s sex abuse trial

A prominent British MP has said news that Prince Andrew will face a civil sexual assault case is “horrible” for the Queen to go through as she celebrates the 70th anniversary of her ascent to the throne.

Speaking to The Independent , Labour MP Diane Abbott said: “This is really quite sad for the queen in her platinum jubilee year.

“I wouldn’t want to say more than that. We will only know when the court case is completed. But it is a horrible thing to happen in the Queen’s jubilee year.”

The Independent’s Maya Oppenheim has the full story.

Bevan Hurley14 January 2022 03:30


Virginia Giuffre is not interested in purely financial settlement with Prince Andrew, lawyer says

David Boise, her attorney, said she was seeking to be “vindicated” in the case.

He told BBC Newsnight: “I don’t think that she is has a firm view at this point nor could she as to exactly what the resolution could be.

“I think what’s going to be important is that this resolution vindicates her and vindicates the claim she’s made.”

He added: “A purely financial settlement is not anything that I think she is interested in.”

Read Liam James’ full story.

Bevan Hurley14 January 2022 03:00


Full list of military titles Prince Andrew has lost

Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.

The announcement came after more than 150 Royal Navy, RAF and Army veterans signed a letter asking for the Queen to relieve the prince Andrew of his military appointments.

The decision means Prince Andrew will lose the following titles:

  • Colonel of the Grenadier Guards
  • Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps
  • Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm
  • Royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers 
  • Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) 
  • Royal colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Bevan Hurley14 January 2022 02:30


Will Prince Andrew face trial over Virginia Giuffre’s claims of sex abuse?

A federal judge in New York threw out a request by Prince Andrew to dismiss a civil lawsuit accusing him of having sex with a 17-year-old girl who was being sex-trafficked by late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, in a bombshell ruling that paves the way for the case to go to trial.

When will the trial begin?

Judge Kaplan has given a timeframe of between September and December 2022 for the trial to commence.

According to the judge’s scheduling order, both parties must disclose expert witnesses by 13 May and rebuttal witnesses one month later.

Discovery of evidence must be completed by 14 July and a joint pretrial proposal filed by 28 July, outlining whether the parties wish to proceed to a jury trial.

However, proceedings could be held up with delays. And Prince Andrew may seek to settle the case before it gets to trial.

Rachel Sharp explains what’s likely to come next.

Will Prince Andrew now face trial?

A New York judge has paved the way for a lawsuit accusing Prince Andrew of having sex with an teenage girl to go to trial. So what happens now?

Bevan Hurley14 January 2022 02:00


So farewell, then, your not-so-royal highness

“Goodness, the House of Windsor really can be ruthless when it wants to be. Or has to be, more like. Life comes fast at you when you live in comfortable seclusion in a variety of royal palaces. That princely platinum pudding, Prince Andrew is learning all about that the hard way…

On Wednesday, the Duke of York gets notice that he faces a civil sex case in New York. On Thursday he’s told to hand back his remaining patronages, honorific military titles, collection of fancy uniforms (tailored for the more portly figure) – even the title of “his royal highness” won’t be “used” any more. And him a prince-of-the-blood royal, indeed. They didn’t even do that to Edward VIII when he abdicated back in 1936. Quite a day.

Read Sean O’Grady’s piece for The Independent Voices here.

Bevan Hurley14 January 2022 01:30

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