Prince Andrew May Drop Duke of York Title, Be Cast Into Royal 'Exile' if He Loses Sex Abuse Case
08:02 GMT 02.01.2022 (Updated: 09:45 GMT 02.01.2022)
In a civil lawsuit filed in the US in August 2021, Virginia Giuffre (nee Roberts) accuses Prince Andrew of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The alleged Epstein sex trafficking victim claims she was forced to have sex with the royal when she was 17 and a minor.
Prince Andrew may be stripped of his Duke of York title if he loses the sex abuse civil lawsuit filed against him by Virginia Giuffre, according to the Sunday Times.
The royal household is purportedly discussing other options, such as sending the embattled royal into an “internal exile” of sorts, and requiring him to relinquish remaining links to any charities. The Duke had stepped back from royal duties, including most of his charity work, in 2019 "for the foreseeable future". The decision followed heightened scrutiny over his relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“If [Prince Andrew] loses the case, the question is what do you do with him? You can't make him resign like you would a normal person but he would be asked to put his dukedom into abeyance,” a source was cited as saying.
Persuading Queen Elizabeth II to remove the title of Duke of York would be difficult, as “it was held by her father, George VI, before he became king and she bestowed it on her favourite son. But he has disgraced that title,” insiders were cited as adding.
With regard to reports that the Duke of York might lose his title, a Buckingham Palace spokesman was cited as saying:
“This is speculation and the comments are without foundation. We would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.”
Prince Andrew is reportedly under pressure to cede his nine military roles, according to defence sources cited by the Sunday People. Senior Army commanders purportedly deem it not feasible for the royal to continue in his role as colonel-in-chief of the nine military regiments, units and corps.
The military roles are as follows:
Vice-Admiral - Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen; Colonel - Grenadier Guards; Colonel-in-Chief - 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's); Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment); Small Arms School Corps; and Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot); Royal Colonel - Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland; Honorary Air Commodore - Royal Air Force Lossiemouth; and Commodore-in-Chief - Fleet Air Arm.
© AFP 2022 / JOHN THYSBritain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges on September 7, 2019 in Bruges
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges on September 7, 2019 in Bruges
Senior military chiefs are cited as referring to Prince Andrew as “toxic” over his links to the convicted pedophile Epstein and the ongoing sex abuse case against him.
“Even if Andrew is completely exonerated from any wrongdoing he is now regarded as toxic. It is expected he will do the decent thing and resign,” an insider was quoted as saying.
A decision to remove Prince Andrew’s titles would need come from the Queen and Buckingham Palace officials.
Sex Abuse Lawsuit
Virginia Giuffre, currently 38, alleges that she was trafficked out by the late tycoon Jeffrey Epstein and his “pimp” Ghislaine Maxwell to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17 – a minor by US law. The first time was purportedly at the London townhouse of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's “pimp”. Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting and trafficking young girls for his sexual trafficking ring of abuse, with a US jury convicting her of five out of six charges on 29 December.
© Photo : Florida Southern District CourtPrince Andrew, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell. This photo was included in an affidavit in which Giuffre alleged that she was directed to have sex with Andrew
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell. This photo was included in an affidavit in which Giuffre alleged that she was directed to have sex with Andrew
© Photo : Florida Southern District Court
The second time, in early 2001, was supposedly at Epstein's New York mansion, and the third time was on the tycoon's private island in the Caribbean.
The formal allegations laid out in the civil lawsuit Giuffre filed in a New York court are battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The woman is suing for unspecified damages.
The Duke of York has denied all the charges made against him, claiming he never even met the woman. However, when he attempted to clear his name by agreeing to a BBC Newsnight “car crash” interview it only made matters worse. Responding to his accuser’s claims, Prince Andrew had stated in the interview he could not have had sex with his accuser in 2001 because he was out with his daughter at Pizza Express in Woking. He also claimed that a medical condition he developed after being shot at during the Falklands War left him “unable to sweat” after Giuffre insisted that the two of them had danced together and he had been “sweating profusely.”
In October 2021, the prince's lawyers slammed the lawsuit as “baseless”.
"Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him. Epstein's abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew," the written arguments by the royal’s defence team had stated.
After Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict the Duke of York is said to have held crisis meetings with his legal team.
30 December 2021, 17:17 GMT
Prince Andrew has already suffered two setbacks in his attempts to have the case against him thrown out.
Firstly, Judge Lewis A Kaplan issued a written order telling the disgraced Queen’s son’s lawyers that they must adhere to an earlier scheduled document handover. The NY judge also rejected a motion by the royal’s attorneys to have the lawsuit dismissed on jurisdictional grounds as Giuffre no longer lives in the US. The defence, led by Andrew Brettler, argued that Virginia Giuffre has lived in Australia for all but two of the past 19 years.
Two important developments take place next week. Firstly, on Monday, the 2009 agreement between Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew's accuser Giuffre will be released following an order by US judges.
The Duke of York's lawyers have argued the settlement releases him from liability, yet Giuffre's team insists the agreement "on its face" applies "at most" to people involved in underlying litigation in Florida, thereby excluding Prince Andrew.
The following day, on 4 January, Judge Kaplan is due to hear arguments on whether to dismiss Giuffre's civil lawsuit or whether the civil claim against Prince Andrew can proceed to trial. If it does, Virginia Giuffre’s legal team will seek further documentation from the prince, including proof of his Newsnight interview claim he “cannot sweat”.
Prince Andrew’s legal team has previously said “no documents exist in his possession, custody or control” to substantiate the claim.