Why did Queen Elizabeth II strip Prince Andrew of his military titles?

Although some of Prince Andrew’s roles were retired after he stepped down from public duties in 2019, Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite son retained other honorary titles.

A drastic movement has shaken Buckingham Palace this Thursday: Queen Elizabeth II stripped Prince Andrew of his military titles and royal patronage, according to English media. The decision came after more than 150 soldiers wrote to the British monarch to sanction her son due to the discomfort caused by the complaint he faces for sexual assault.

“Officers in the British armed forces must adhere to the highest standards of probity, honesty and honorable conduct. These are standards that Prince Andrew has not met. It’s hard not to see, when he is described as ‘toxic’ by senior officers, that he has brought the services with which he is associated into disrepute. Therefore, we ask that you take immediate steps to strip the prince of all his military ranks and titles and, if necessary, have him dishonorably discharged,” the veterans said in the letter.

Prince Andrew, considered the favorite son of Queen Elizabeth II, faces trial for a sexual abuse complaint made by the British Virginia Giuffre. On Wednesday, a federal judge in New York dismissed the motion presented by the defense of Andrés de York, thus giving the green light for the process against the prince to continue its course.

Prince Andrew has denied the allegations by Giuffre, who claims to have been abused by him three times, and moved quickly to dismiss the case. His lawyers stated that the lawsuit violated the terms of a settlement agreement that Giuffre made with Jeffrey Epstein , the deceased financier who, together with his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell , maintained a sex trafficking network of which Giuffre claims to be a victim and in which well-known celebrities, businessmen and politicians would also have participated.

The agreement cited by Prince Andrew’s defense dates back to 2009 and stated that Giuffre would avoid claims in court against Epstein and his associates. However, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan pointed out that the agreement is ambiguous, while the plaintiff’s complaint is “neither unintelligible nor vague”, as it alleges incidents of sexual abuse in three identifiable places.

Prince Andrew tried to reconcile with Giuffre in the last 24 hours, according to the victim’s lawyer, David Boies, but she has refused to accept a financial settlement.

“A purely financial deal is not something I think she would be interested in. What is going to be important is that this resolution vindicates the abuse of her and other victims,” Boies said.

Buckingham Palace had been silent on Wednesday following Judge Kaplan’s decision. With no other options on the table, the prince will most likely face a civil trial in New York between September and December of this year.

Although some of Prince Andrew’s titles were withdrawn after he resigned from his public duties in 2019, when the scandal broke, he retained other honorary titles, such as 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, according to The Guardian.