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Prince Andrew returns his badge and royal patronage to Queen Elizabeth in the Epstein scandal

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, lost his badge and royal patronage just a day after his attempt to dismiss the case against alleged Virginia Giuffre victim Jeffrey Epstein was rejected.

Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday that Andrew’s titles and patronage have been returned to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

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

Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second youngest child and Prince Philip’s four children, served 22 years in the Royal Navy.

According to Robert Jobson, a royal contributor to ABC News, stripping him of his rank was “extremely important”.

Andrew’s honorary ranks include Colonel of the Grenadier Guard, one of the oldest regiments in the British Army; Honor Aviation of the RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel General of the General Staff of the Royal Irish Regiment; Colonel Commander-in-Chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Commander-in-Chief of Fleet Air Defense Forces; Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; Deputy Colonel of The Royal Lancers; and the Royal Colonel of the Royal Scottish Regiment.

“It was clear to me that there was no going back for Andrew as a public figure,” Jobson said. “Given the fact that the queen is not only the head of state but also the armed forces, she will take note of the unrest in the military linked to the duke and act accordingly.”

Jobson added: “The last sentence, which refers to him as a private citizen in an official statement, is unheard of and suggests that he was clearly cut off by the royal family.”

The Duke of York will no longer use the “Royal Duke” style in any official capacity, a royal source told ABC News.

Andrew’s military and patronage roles will be reallocated to members of the royal family, according to the source.

The last time Andrew, father of two princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, appeared in public with the royal family last April, when the whole family gathered in London for Prince Philip’s funeral.

In November 2019, Andrew gives up public service, said in a statement at the time that, “the former relationship with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work, and the valuable work is ongoing in many institutions and organizations charities that I am proud to support.”

The scrutiny of Andrew’s relationship with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, even increased in 2020, when Epstein died in prison from an apparent suicide.

On Wednesday, a Federal judge in New York dismisses Prince Andrew’s claim that a 2009 settlement agreement between Giuffre and Epstein exempted him from civil litigation.

The settlement released “other potential defendants” and lawyers for the Duke of York argued that prevented her from suing him because he was a potential defendant in her earlier case. .

The judge called the agreement “vague” and lacked “clear and precise” drafting.

ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy said the ruling could cause the monarchy to further distance itself from Andrew.

“Now they’ve gone even further than they did before in alienating him,” she said. “It sends the message that they understand that the latest ruling has escalated the damage to reputation and they want to create every last possible distance between him and the monarchy.”

Giuffre alleges Epstein trafficked her to Prince Andrew, who abused and sexually abused her when she was under 18.

Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations.

In response to the judge’s decision, a source close to Andrew told ABC News that the duke “will continue to defend himself.”

The source said: “Given the certainty Judge Kaplan gave, we are not surprised by our ruling. However, it is not a judgment based on Ms. Giuffre’s allegations.” “This is a marathon not a sprint and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace declined to comment on Wednesday’s ruling, telling ABC News, “We will not comment on ongoing legal matters.”

Andrew’s US-based legal team has previously signaled their intention to seek legal dismissal, arguing that Giuffre was unable to take advantage of the US federal court system while she lived in Australia. .

Zoe Magee, Aaron Katersky and James Hill of ABC News contributed to this report.

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Culture/queen-elizabeth-revokes-prince-andrews-military-titles-royal/story?id=82245814 Prince Andrew returns his badge and royal patronage to Queen Elizabeth in the Epstein scandal

Emma Bowman

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