Just hours after his lawyer's attempts to have a civil sexual assault case against him were thrown out of court, the Queen announced she had made the decision to remove Prince Andrew's military titles and royal patronages. Like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Prince Andrew retains his title His Royal Highness, but will not be permitted to use it in any official capacity. The 61-year-old royal will also continue not to undertake any public duties.
Announcing the news, a statement was shared on the Royal Family's official Instagram account with the caption, "A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke of York."
The statement read: "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."
Prince Andrew had a 22-year career in the Royal Navy, and served as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War. But, the Palace's announcement means he has lost his military titles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, which is regarded as one of the most senior infantry regiments in the British army.
The decision to remove the Duke's titles was welcomed by royal fans and critics alike, who had been campaigning for him to lose said titles since he was first accused of sexual assault by Virginia Giuffre – although he denies any wrongdoing. "Good decision" said a number of Royal Family followers, "Well done Queen and team. This man is an individual and choose [sic] his own path" said another, with a third person putting: "It was about time!"
As well as commending the decision, other's commented on how difficult this must be for the Queen, who has no doubt had to put duty before her son. "This is the right decision and my heart goes to the Queen" said one royal fan, with another adding: "So sad for the Queen, she must be bitterly disappointed in some members of her family, especially as she has given her life to this country, but the decision is the correct one." A third person commented "She's always making her duties her first priority".
The move means that the Prince's military titles will be awarded to other members of the Royal Family, and as such will not be returned to him regardless of the outcome of his court case.
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