The Duke of York, 61, is being sued for sexual assault in the US by Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was forced by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17. Andrew vigorously denies the accusations against him. Ms Giuffre was given a boost earlier this month when a New York judge said that her civil case against the Queen’s son could proceed to trial.
The judge rejected arguments from Andrew’s lawyers that the case should be thrown out, after they claimed the Duke was protected from legal action because of the wording of a previously confidential agreement between Ms Giuffre and the late Epstein.
The following day, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Andrew would be stripped of his military titles, royal patronages and his use of the HRH (His Royal Highness) title in an official capacity.
This is just the latest in a series of blows for the Duke, as the Palace increasingly distances itself from him.
In November 2019, shortly after Prince Andrew’s infamous BBC Newsnight interview about his former friendship with Epstein, it was announced that he would step back from public duties.
However, he intended to keep running his ‘Dragon’s Den’-style entrepreneurial scheme [email protected] in a private capacity, despite numerous organisations severing ties with him.
Prince Andrew was ‘thrown out of office’ in Buckingham Palace before titles stripped
Andrew: Queen’s son stripped of military titles
The company, which Andrew founded, links start-up firms to potential investors.
Standard Chartered and KPMG severed ties with the Duke, as did Barclays, which pulled out as a sponsor of [email protected]
A Palace spokesperson said: “The Duke will continue to work on Pitch and will look at how he takes this forward outside of his public duties, and outside of Buckingham Palace.
“We recognise there will be a period of time while this transition takes place.”
It was reported by The Guardian that month that Andrew was preparing to leave his private office in Buckingham Palace as he sought to maintain control of [email protected]
Buckingham Palace: Hosted Andrew’s [email protected]
However, in 2020, [email protected] removed Andrew’s name from its site, as well as some pictures of him.
Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers reflected on this, claiming the Duke was “thrown out of his office” in Buckingham Palace on royal podcast Pod Save the Queen, hosted by Zoe Forsey.
In an episode released before the judge’s ruling that Andrew could face trial, he said: “It will be a lonely place for him, I imagine, at the moment.
“Because there are very few allies in his corner, certainly his family are sticking by him.
“The Palace seem to have distanced themselves from him for many, many months.
Virginia Giuffre: Andrew’s accuser
“He was thrown out of his office in Buckingham Palace and then he’s been left to fend for himself with his own legal representation, so let’s see where it gets him.”
Mr Myers was discussing the idea that Andrew could one day return to royal duties, saying that only time will tell.
He added: “He’s stood by consistently that he has denied all these allegations.
“The lawyers that he has employed are obviously earning their vastly expensive coin at the moment because they are using every trick in the book to try and get him off.
“So, we’ll just have to wait and see at the moment.”
Buckingham Palace did not respond to a request for comment.
To subscribe to ‘Pod Save The Queen’ go to your normal podcast provider.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK