Prince Andrew humiliated as he’s stripped of major British honour in crushing vote

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PRINCE ANDREW is to lose his Freedom of the City of York after York City Council voted unanimously to strip him of the honour.

Councillors met tonight (April 27) to discuss whether to remove it from the status from the Queen’s second son. Prince Andrew was given the ambassadorial title during a poignant ceremony held in 1987 – a few months after his marriage to Sarah Ferguson and Her Majesty’s move to bestow upon him the title of Duke of York.

The Freedom of the City is a status normally given to outstanding members of the community, visiting celebrities or dignitaries.

While bearing the title of Freeman is usually considered a major honour, it doesn’t grant any special privileges.

This Council meeting was initially due to take place in March but was postponed after a number of councillors tested positive for Covid-19.

The motion was supported by Labour, Conservatives and the Green group representatives present at the meeting.

prince andrew news Freedom of the City of York meeting council duke of york latest

Prince Andrew became the Duke of York in 1986 (Image: GETTY)

prince andrew news Freedom of the City of York meeting council duke of york latest

Prince Andrew photographed outside the Chapel Royal in Windsor in April last year (Image: GETTY)

Prince Andrew returned several of his titles to the Queen following public backlash to his association with the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

But what could tonight’s vote mean for the Queen’s son? Here’s all you need to know.

All council members at the meeting voted in favour of the motion, apart from two who abstained from the vote – the Lord Mayor and Lord Mayor-elect.

The vote was unanimously carried as a result of this.

Council members also called for either the Queen or the Government to strip Andrew of the title Duke of York.

Peerages, including the rank of Duke, can only be removed by an Act of Parliament, which last happened in 1917.

Liberal Democrat councillor Darryl Smalley, City of York Council’s executive member for culture, leisure and communities and proposer of the motion said: “The removal of this honorary title sends the right message that we as a city stand with victims of abuse.”

He went on to add: “The next logical step is now for Prince Andrew to do the right thing and relinquish his Duke of York title.

“If he fails to do so, the Government and Buckingham Palace must step in to remove his title to finally end Prince Andrew’s connection to York.”

Labour councillor Aisling Musson said she wanted to remove “this stain of an association with this city”.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, said the Prince was the “first to ever have their freedom removed” by the city.

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Prince Andrew at the service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip in March (Image: GETTY)

Despite the move, Councillor David Taylor showed he still held the York family in high esteem by notably highlighting his approval for Andrew’s daughter Beatrice.

He expressed his hopes that the monarch would appoint Princess Beatrice as Duchess of York in the future.

He described Andrew’s daughter as being “personable and intelligent” and added that Beatrice had “done her homework” when visiting the city previously.

York Liberal Democrats, the largest group on City of York Council, said Andrew had been contacted by the local authority ahead of the meeting to inform him of the motion.

The meeting comes two months after the Duke of York reached an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who had accused him of sexual assault allegedly carried out when she was 17.

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Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson on their wedding day (Image: GETTY)

prince andrew news Freedom of the City of York meeting council duke of york latest

Prince Andrew holds the Freedom of the City of York status (Image: GETTY)

Andrew has strenuously denied any wrongdoing since the allegations first emerged, and this settlement did not consist of any admission of guilt.

Court documents filed in New York, where Ms Giuffre had filed her lawsuit against the Duke, stated Andrew would make a “substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights” as part of the agreement reached.

The documents also stated the Queen’s son “regrets his association” with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

A few weeks prior to the settlement, in January, Prince Andrew’s lawyers had tried to throw out the case.

The day after US Judge Lewis A. Kaplan refused to do so, Buckingham Palace announced the Duke had returned his military and royal patronages to the Queen.

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

Royal sources added Andrew would retain his HRH style but would no longer use it in any official capacity.

The Duke had taken a step back from public duties in November 2019, shortly after his interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis was aired.

Following the interview entirely focused on his association with Epstein, the Duke was hit by accusations of failing to show sympathy for the late tycoon’s victims.

In the immediate aftermath, many organisations cut or announced they were to review their ties with the royal.

Prince Andrew was last seen in public last month, when he attended the service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey alongside his relatives, government officials, foreign royals and representatives of some of the late Duke’s patronages.

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Prince Andrew and the Queen arriving at Westminster Abbey last month (Image: GETTY)

Prior to the beginning of the poignant event, the Duke travelled with the Queen in a Range Rover from Windsor to Buckingham Palace.

Mother and son then got into the Queen’s Bentley, which dropped them off at a side entrance of the Abbey near Poets’ Corner – an arrangement made for the Queen to cut the distance she would need to walk to get to her seat.

The monarch was spotted walking side by side with her second son before reaching her seat.

After the 45-minute service, the Duke left once again with his mother.

This was the first public event he had taken part in since his settlement with Ms Giuffre.

He last attended a televised event in April last year, when he took part in the funeral service for his father Prince Philip.

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu claims Andrew should be stripped of the title and questioned his honour.

In a tweet, she wrote: “About time Prince Andrew is stripped of Duke of York title. It’s disgraceful it’s taking so long. He’s brought UK into disrepute and Monarchy.

“Is he waiting for Mummy, the Queen, to tell him to relinquish title? Honourable he is not.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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