Following a ruling by a US judge that a sex trafficking case against Britain’s Prince Andrew can go forward, his military titles and royal patronages have been stripped and returned to the Queen, Buckingham Palace announced.
Prince Andrew stripped of Royal titles
Britain’s Prince Andrew, who now faces a lawsuit in the United States over allegations of sex trafficking, has lost all military titles and patronages.
Prince Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, has returned all military titles and royal patronages to the Queen and will stop using His Royal Highness in an official capacity, according to a royal source.
“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, the BBC reported.
The ruling by Queen Elizabeth comes a day after attorneys for the Royal failed to persuade a US judge from dismissing a civil lawsuit that accuses Prince Andrew of sexual abuse, NBC reported.
Alleged abuse teenage girl
In the abuse lawsuit filed in New York, Giuffre claims she was sexually abused on multiple encounters with Prince Andrew which caused personal harm and lasting trauma. At the time of the alleged events, Giuffre went by the name Virginia Roberts and was 17 years old, the BBC reported. A photo has been widely circulated that shows Prince Andrew with his arm around Roberts, with Ghislaine Maxwell smiling in the near background.
The longtime companion to Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted of sex trafficking and other counts sex trafficking and other counts in U.S. District Court in Manhattan late last month, the Washington Post reported.
Judge rules sex trafficking case against Prince Andrew can go forward
In New York, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Wednesday that a sex trafficking lawsuit that accuses Britain’s Prince Andrew, 61, of abuse can go forward.
Attorneys for the Prince attempted to argue that a 2009 agreement signed by the accuser, Virginia Giuffre, in which she settled with Jeffrey Epstein freed the Royal from liability, the Washington Post reported. In that agreement, Giuffre received a payment of $500,000, which Andrew’s attorneys say shielded the Prince and anyone else in connections to her claims against Epstein, who died by suicide while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in 2019.
Giuffre claims that she was trafficked to Prince Andrew by Jeffrey Epstein when she was a minor teenager.
Judge Kaplan disagreed with Andrew’s lawyers’ argument in a 46-page decision. The judge wrote: “[It is] not open to the Court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms. Giuffre and Mr. Epstein actually meant.
The lawsuit settlement between Giuffre and Epstein occurred in a Florida court.
“As a matter of Florida law, this Court cannot rewrite the 2009 Agreement to give the defendant rights where the agreement does not clearly manifest an intent to create them,” the judge wrote in the decision.
Despite the judge’s ruling to allow Giuffre’s lawsuit against the Prince to move forward, Andrew has not been criminally charged.