Royal courtiers are discussing plans to strip Prince Andrew of his Duke of York title if he loses the lawsuit brought by sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre, according to the Sunday Times.
Other ideas allegedly being considered by the Royal household include sending the Duke into some form of ‘internal exile’ and asking him to relinquish any links he still has to charities.
Ms Giuffre alleges that Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her three times when she was 17, which he denies, and is suing for unspecified damages. The Duke stepped down from public duties in November 2019 ‘for the foreseeable future’ over his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in the wake of the disastrous Newsnight interview he had hoped would clear his name.
A source said: ‘If [Prince Andrew] loses the case, the question is what do you do with him? You can’t make him resign like you would a normal person but he would be asked to put his dukedom into abeyance.’
Royal insiders said it would be difficult to persuade the Queen to remove the title of Duke of York as ‘it was held by her father, George VI, before he became king and she bestowed it on her favourite son. But he has disgraced that title’, the Sunday Times reported.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said with regard to claims the Duke might lose his title: ‘This is speculation and the comments are without foundation. We would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.’
And in a further blow, the Duke is said to be under pressure to give up his nine military roles, according to defence sources. Military chiefs hope he will resign so the Queen doesn’t have to strip him of his honorary titles, the Sunday People reported.
In light of the Duke’s close friendship with Epstein and Maxwell, senior Army commanders believe it is not feasible for Andrew to carry on his role as colonel-in-chief of the nine military regiments, units and corps.
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Source: Daily Mail