‘I will fight on’: Prince Andrew strikes defiant tone after being stripped of his royal and military titles as he faces sex abuse lawsuit as a private citizen – with allies insisting case is ‘a marathon not a sprint’
The Duke of York will no longer be known as His Royal Highness ‘in any official capacity’ in a stunning downfall as his family abandoned him to fight his sex abuse lawsuit in America as a private citizen.
Today, a source close to the royal said he would continue to fight Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s allegations after the judge dismissed his legal team’s attempt to have the case thrown out.
The source 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.’
Prince Andrew will ‘continue to defend himself’ against the sex abuse lawsuit after the Queen stripped him of his royal titles
Today, a source close to the royal said he would continue to fight Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s allegations
Andrew has been urged to settle out of court with his accuser royal’s accuser ‘for the sake of his mother’, who celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this year.
But he could face difficulties given Ms Giuffre is said to be pushing for ‘her day in court’.
Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s decision to cast Andrew out of the royal fold in a statement released this afternoon.
‘With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,’ it read. ‘The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.’
A royal source said the issue had been widely discussed with the royal family, making it likely that the Prince of Wales, as well as Andrew, were involved in crisis talks over the matter. The source said the military posts would be redistributed to other members of the royal family.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement this afternoon, which 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 Palace said previously that the duke’s military appointments were in abeyance after he stepped down from public duties in 2019. But, prior to today, he still retained the roles, including the position of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest and most emblematic regiments in the British Army.
His other British honorary military titles are: Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment; Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own); and Royal colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
He is only the 5th royal in recent history to stop using the HRH title, with Princess Diana and Sarah, Duchess of York, losing the styling after their divorce, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle agreed to lose theirs as part of their ‘Megxit’ deal with the Queen.
The decision to shred Andrew’s military ties is likely to be particularly painful for the Royal Navy veteran, who served with distinction as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War.
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.
Last night, Prince Andrew’s lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic were locked in crisis talks after their motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Roberts (pictured middle) was ‘denied in all respects’, meaning the case is now heading towards an unedifying trial this autumn
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.
It came as reports suggested he could avoid a trial by using the sale of his £18million Swiss chalet to try to pay off Ms Giuffre with at least £10million of the proceeds.
MailOnline revealed this week that Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York, settled a £6.6 million debt with a French socialite, paving the way for him to sell his beloved ski chalet to fund his alleged sex abuse case.
Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, sold her house, Chalet Helora, to her then-friends Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 2014 for £18million, would be paid for in instalments. But Ms de Rouvre claimed the Yorks failed to make the final instalment of £5m for the property in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier – but this week the Yorks stumped up the cash, ending the legal battle and clearing the way for a sale.
With the chalet now on the market, the ninth in line to the throne will use up to £10million of the final sale price to settle with Ms Giuffre, according to The Sun, but without admission of liability to her claims she was forced to have sex with him three times when she was 17. He has repeatedly denied the claims.
Mark Stephens, an expert in constitutional law, has said that Andrew will need to find between £5million and £10million to offer Ms Giuffre and hope she spares him a trial.