PRINCE Andrew won’t be shielded by the Royal Family while he fights his sex abuse lawsuit as a “private citizen”.
The Duke of York, 61, was today stripped of his royal titles and military honours after a showdown with the Queen.
His military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect after he was accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was just 17.
The Duke will also no longer be able to use 'His Royal Highness' – and will face his US lawsuit as a "private citizen" meaning he can't hide behind royal privileges.
Former assistant US attorney, United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Richard Signorelli told The Sun: “The stripping of his titles is very significant because it indicates he is no longer supported by a very important person in his life.
“It will send him a signal and message that he is on his own in fighting these serious allegations.
“He should give serious consideration to resolving with the plaintiff before the case progresses even further.”
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Mr Signorelli added: “The stripping of his titles also indicates just how serious the allegations are.
“Individuals accused of sex crimes are treated differently and more harshly inside the criminal justice system. Often the accused are ostracised from normal societal relationships.”
“It is very well known with the US justice system that those defendants convicted of sex crime involving minors are viewed as the lowest form of criminal.”
Although Mr Signorelli stressed that Andrew has not been charged and must be considered innocent until proved otherwise.
Ms Giuffre, now 38, claims she was forced to have sex with the prince three times between 1999 and 2002 – in London, New York and on Epstein’s private Caribbean island.
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She alleges she was trafficked to have sex with Andrew by multimillionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his former lover Ghislaine Maxwell.
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the accusations.
Andrew's lawyers had been seeking to persuade the court that Ms Giuffre had waived her right to sue him when she signed a £370,000 ($500,000) legal settlement with Epstein.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams also said he thought the stripping of the His Royal Highness title from Andrew was “inevitable”.
He told The Sun: “You had to make sure this court case had a limited impact on the Royal Family as possible and the only way to do that was to remove his titles.”
Mr Fitzwilliams added: “This severing of ties had to happen. There have been a long line of controversies. The Royal Family is held in high esteem but Andrew isn’t.
“He is an embarrassment in so many ways.”
The Queen cuts Andrew adrift…
- Prince Andrew has been stripped of all his military titles
- He will no longer be able to use 'His Royal Highness' in any official capacity
- He was told the decision in a face-to-face meeting with Her Majesty
- The decision was approved by the Queen – but discussed 'widely with the Royal Family'
- Andrew can't 'hide behind' his royal privileges and is fighting the sex abuse lawsuit 'as a private citizen'
- He will not undertake any public duties, the Palace confirmed
- Prince Andrew's former titles will be distributed among other members of the royal family
Although Mr Fitzwilliams thought it was highly unlikely that the case will go to court and Andrew would reach a settlement.
A source close to the Duke said: “Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling. However, it was not a judgement on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
“This is a marathon not a sprint and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”
Buckingham Palace said in a statement this evening: "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."
In time, his titles will be redistributed to other family members, according to a royal source.
He will also lose his formal royal title – meaning he can no longer refer to himself as His Royal Highness.
And Andrew is set to pay £10million from the sale of his Swiss chalet in an out-of-court settlement with his accuser Giuffre, The Sun reported today.
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