Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen’s annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England.
Max Mumby | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Prince Andrew of Britain was stripped Thursday by his mother Queen Elizabeth II of his military affiliations and royal patronages as he continues fighting a New York lawsuit that accuses him of sexually abusing an underage girl while she was in thrall to sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew, who had been a close friend of Epstein, also no longer will use the style “His Royal Highness” in any official capacity, according to a royal source, Reuters reported.
The news agency also reported that Andrew’s official roles will be handed to other members of the royal family.
“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 Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
The announcement came within hours of a letter from more than 150 veterans of the Royal Navy, Air Force and Army calling on the queen to strip her second son of all his titles and ranks in the armed forces.
The letter said that Andrew had “fallen well short of” the military’s highest standards of “probity, honesty and honourable conduct.”
“It is hard not to see, when senior officers are reportedly describing him as ‘toxic’, that he has brought the services he is associated with into disrepute,” the letter said.