Prince Andrew’s military titles revoked by queen amid sex lawsuit

January 13, 2022
Prince Andrew's lawyers filed a memo in court laying out reasons why Virginia Roberts Giuffre's sexual-assault lawsuit against the British royal should be dismissed.
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Queen Elizabeth II revoked Prince Andrew’s military associations and royal patronages on Thursday, a day after a federal judge in New York refused to dismiss a sexual-abuse lawsuit by an American woman against him. 

Buckingham Palace released a statement announcing the news.  

“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” the statement said. 

Andrew, 61, the queen’s second son, is being sued by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, 38, who alleges that Andrew raped and sexually assaulted her in New York in 2001 when she was 17. She claims Andrew’s friend Jeffery Epstein trafficked her to him and that the prince knew it at the time.

The move to disassociate Andrew from his much-prized military associations has been a long time coming but gained force in recent weeks as proceedings in the civil suit in New York persisted, despite Andrew’s lawyers’ efforts to get it dismissed. Military leaders complained publicly and anonymously to British tabloids that continued links with the prince were untenable. 

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan wrote in an opinion Wednesday that Andrew’s lawyers failed to successfully challenge the constitutionality of the lawsuit Giuffre filed against him in August.

His lawyers had said that the lawsuit lacked specificity and was disqualified by a settlement she reached in 2009 with lawyers for Epstein.

“Today’s decision by Judge Kaplan denying Prince Andrew’s effort to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s case against him is another important step in Virginia‘s heroic and determined pursuit of justice as a survivor of sex trafficking,” said Sigrid McCawley, one of Giuffre’s team of lawyers, in a statement obtained by USA TODAY.  

Andrew has been under fire in Britain since at least 2011 for his former friendship with Epstein, the late convicted sex offender.  

This story is developing.

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