The palace statement came after more than 150 navy and army veterans wrote to the Queen asking her to strip Andrew of all his military ranks and titles amid continued legal trouble for the prince, who is embroiled in a sex assault lawsuit in the US.

The Duke of York has consistently denied the allegations.

Peter Phillips and Prince Andrew, Duke of York during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England
Peter Phillips and Prince Andrew, Duke of York during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement released on Thursday evening (Friday morning AEDT).

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

District Judge Lewis A Kaplan rejected an argument by Andrew’s lawyers that Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out at an early stage because of an old legal settlement she had with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier she claims set up sexual encounters with the prince.

He stressed that he wasn’t ruling on the truth of the allegations.

Andrew’s lawyers have said that the royal never sexually abused or assaulted Ms Giuffre and that he “unequivocally denies Giuffre’s false allegations against him.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said it had no comment about the Duke’s military titles being handed back to the Queen, and that it was a matter for the palace.

Source: 9News

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