Prince Andrew Urged to 'Jump Before He is Pushed', Give Up Military Titles Over Sex Abuse Row
Earlier, reports claimed Prince Andrew might be stripped of his Duke of York title if he loses the sex abuse civil lawsuit filed against him by the alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim. The royal was also reportedly under pressure to cede his nine military roles, according to defence sources cited by the Sunday People.
Prince Andrew has been urged to voluntarily give up his honorary military titles by an ex-colonel in the Iraq War before he is “pushed” to do so, reported the Mirror.
Colonel Tim Collins - the first military ex-chief to comment publicly on the sex abuse allegations targeting the embattled royal, was quoted as saying the publicity linked with the Queen’s second son was “embarrassing for everyone”.
“It is entirely up to him and what he decides to do at the end of the day. He will listen to advice from the rest of the royal family, he’s got his own mind, it’s going to be better for everybody if he took the decision and jumped rather than was pushed,” the former commanding officer of the Royal Irish Regiment, of which the Duke of York is Colonel-in-chief, was cited as saying.
Virginia Giuffre( nee Roberts), 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.
© AP Photo / Chris Isonn this Sept. 2, 2000 file photo, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, driven by Britain's Prince Andrew leaves the wedding of a former girlfriend of the prince, Aurelia Cecil, at the Parish Church of St Michael in Compton Chamberlayne near Salisbury, England. The FBI said Thursday July 2, 2020, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was accused by many women of helping procure underage sex partners for Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested in New Hampshire.
n this Sept. 2, 2000 file photo, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, driven by Britain's Prince Andrew leaves the wedding of a former girlfriend of the prince, Aurelia Cecil, at the Parish Church of St Michael in Compton Chamberlayne near Salisbury, England. The FBI said Thursday July 2, 2020, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was accused by many women of helping procure underage sex partners for Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested in New Hampshire.
© AP Photo / Chris Ison
Giuffre has filed a civil lawsuit against the royal demanding an unspecified amount in damages. The prince has strongly denied the allegations, saying he's never met the woman.
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.
‘Damage Has Been Done’
Col Collins, 61, who also served in the Special Air Service (SAS), claims to have met the Duke of York in his honorary military role at the time of the Iraq War.
“I don’t think he’ll ever ride the storm out. That is the bottom line because I think that the damage has been done. I think it’s a question of timing and I think that he’ll decide to jump or some more senior members of the royal family will say you’ve got to go. There is one of two ways this could have gone – you either go immediately and say I’ll clear my name and come back, which is the right thing to do always or try, and tough it out,” he was quoted as saying.
The former military chief deplored the royal’s disastrous effort to clear his name back in 2019 when he agreed to a “car crash” interview for BBC “Newsnight”.
During the interview, Prince Andrew had claimed 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 referenced a medical condition he had purportedly developed after being shot at during the Falklands War that left him “unable to sweat” after Giuffre insisted that the two of them had danced together and he had been “sweating profusely.”
“Every person who I know who advised him said do not do that BBC interview, do not enter into any litigation and say nothing. Ninety-nine per cent of people condemn themselves out of their own mouth and he dug a bloody big hole with that interview,” said Collins.
Weighing in on efforts by the Duke of York’s legal team to have the civil lawsuit against him thrown out, citing a recently unsealed settlement Giuffre had reached with Epstein, the ex-military commander opined:
“The most likely outcome, in my opinion, is that he will be cleared and then at that point it will be the right point for him to say, ‘I haven’t been convicted of anything but the detritus around it means that I should make way for a younger royal in respect of the people I am Colonel-in-chief of’. I don’t think we will have to wait very many weeks for that to happen.”
Royal Fall From Grace
This comes as earlier, the Sunday People cited defence sources as saying senior commanders believed it was impossible for the Duke of York to continue in his role as the Colonel-in-chief of nine military regiments, units and corps.
The report had suggested that Queen Elizabeth II would, albeit reluctantly, strip her son of military titles if he does not resign of his own accord.
Prince Andrew currently holds the honorary title of Colonel of the regiment in the Grenadier Guards and is the Colonel-in-chief of the 9/12th Lancers, the Royal Irish Regiment, the Yorkshire Regiment, the Small Arms School Corps and Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers.
The prince, who announced his decision to "step back from royal duties" in November 2019, remains Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth, Commodore-in-chief of the Fleet Air Arm and Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps.
The Duke has also since stepped down from all 230 of his patronages.
Prince Andrew is currently awaiting a critical New York court ruling from Judge Lewis Kaplan over whether he will face a full civil court case over Giuffre’s allegations.
© 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 prince’s lawyers have attempted several tactics since the suit was filed. Originally they argued that the court summons had not been properly served, then they attempted to get the case thrown out on the grounds that Giuffre doesn’t reside in the US. After that failed, they cited a recently unsealed settlement Giuffre had with Epstein, under which the convicted sex offender paid her $500,000 in exchange for her forfeiting the right to sue any "other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant".
If the judge gives the go-ahead for the case, Prince Andrew would be obliged to make a deposition and appear in court.