Queen Elizabeth strips Prince Andrew of honorary military roles

Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves the funeral service of Patricia Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge on June 27, 2017, in London, England. (Mark Richards/WPA Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

London — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has agreed to strip the Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, of his honorary military roles and royal patronages, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The move is a major blow to Andrew who is facing a looming civil sexual assault court showdown after a judge ruled on Wednesday that the case could go ahead.

The Palace said in a statement: “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.”

It comes after more than 150 veterans joined forces to express their outrage, writing to the Queen to demand Andrew was removed from the honorary military positions.

Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre (formerly Roberts), says in a federal lawsuit that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew. She attended Royal Palm Beach High, Wellington High and Survivors Charter School. [Photo is evidence in a federal lawsuit]

Accusing the duke of bringing the services he is associated with into disrepute, the 152 former members of the Royal Navy, RAF and Army said that “were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post.”

The Queen is head of the armed forces, and honorary military appointments are in her gift.

The Palace said previously that the duke’s military appointments were in abeyance after he stepped down from public duties in 2019.

But until now he still retained the roles, which left the eight British regiments, including the Grenadier Guards of which he was Colonel, in limbo more than two years on.

Virginia Giuffre is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

The duke has strenuously denied the allegations.

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