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Prince Andrew stripped of military affiliations by Queen Elizabeth

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Prince Andrew has returned his military affiliations and royal patronages to Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace said in a statement Thursday.

This comes a day after the royal’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse.

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

“The Duke of York will continue to assume no public duty and is pursuing this case as a private citizen,” he said.

As a result, Andrew will no longer use the “His Royal Highness of him” style of him in any official capacity, a royal source told NBC News.

Andrew served in the Royal Navy of Great Britain and participated in several missions in the British-Argentine war of 1982, which was fought in the remote Falkland Islands.

The 73-day conflict that claimed the lives of 904 people took place after Argentina tried to retake the South American islands from the United Kingdom.

Andrew remained on active duty after the war ended, and although most of his service was in naval aviation, he also commanded a mine countermeasures warship. Promoted to major in 1999, he retired from active duty two years later.

Britain's Prince Andrew
Britain’s Prince Andrew at a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges, in September 2019. John Thys / AFP – Getty Images

The royals’ reputation has been tarnished in recent years due to their relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his confidante, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty of five federal sex trafficking charges last month in the New York City.

Buckingham Palace made the announcement about Andrew’s titles after a US judge on Wednesday rejected its attempt to dismiss a civil suit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.

Giuffre, now 38, has alleged that Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with Andrew in the 1990s.

Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegation.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan for the Southern District of New York ruled it was premature to consider the prince’s efforts to challenge Giuffre’s allegations, even though he would be allowed to do so at trial.

Andrew’s lawyers tried earlier this month to block the lawsuit, publishing details of a legal settlement in which she took $500,000 from the financier to not pursue further legal action.

They had previously tried to block the lawsuit on the grounds that Giuffre lives in Australia and not the United States. That, too, was rejected by a federal judge.

A source close to Prince Andrew said they were “not surprised” by Kaplan’s ruling. “However, it was not a trial on the merits of Ms. Giuffre’s allegations. This is a marathon, not a sprint and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”

In a 2019 interview with the BBC, Andrew said that he “doesn’t remember” meeting Giuffre. He also suggested that a photograph of them together with Maxwell might have been doctored.

But Giuffre’s lawsuit alleges that Andrew molested her in three places: in London and New York and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands, when she was under 18. It mirrors claims Giuffre previously detailed on NBC’s “Dateline.”

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