Prince Andrew‘s status as a member of the royal family is in tatters after the Queen stripped him of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style in a dramatic fallout from his civil sex case. The move is a humiliation for Andrew and comes after the lawsuit against him took a major step forward on Wednesday when a judge threw out the duke’s motion to dismiss the sexual assault case and ruled it can go to trial. Royal expert Russell Myers has claimed the Royal Family didn’t want the Duke “anywhere near” the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Speaking to the Australian morning programme Sunrise, Mr Myers said: “He is absolutely in exile now. He’s banished from royal life forever.
“I don’t think we would have ever seen him back at royal duties again.
“We’re leading up to a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it’s supposed to be full of jubilation, joyous events all throughout the Commonwealth and I don’t think they wanted Andrew anywhere near that so, they’ve taken this decision.
“His life recently has been locked in legal conversations with his lawyers.
“Some may wonder what on Earth has been going on.”
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Andrew, who was born an HRH, will not use it any official capacity, a royal source said and the duke has also been stripped of his remaining royal patronages.
The move represents the duke’s complete removal from official royal life, and an attempt to distance the monarchy from Andrew, who was once second in line to the throne as the spare to the heir, in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
It comes after more than 150 veterans joined forces to express their outrage, writing to the Queen to demand the duke’s removal from the honorary military positions.
Accusing Andrew of bringing the services he is associated with into disrepute, the 152 former members of the Royal Navy, RAF and Army said that “were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post”.
Royal author Penny Junor questioned whether the Queen should have insisted the titles and patronages be returned sooner: “I think it was a huge embarrassment that retired serving military personnel were demanding that titles be removed.
“That just becomes embarrassing and it becomes damaging to the Queen because the Queen is then seen as protecting her son.”
She added: “I don’t know if the Queen was too slow to take them back or whether it lies with Andrew who was too slow to offer them back.
“But either way I think actually a bit of criticism has to fall on the Queen here, because if Andrew was not offering them up she, or her advisers should have seen that this was going to cause a problem and should have insisted that she take them back.”
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A royal source said the issue had been widely discussed with the royal family, making it likely that the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge were involved in crisis talks over the matter.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday: “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.”
It is understood the decision was taken by mutual agreement between the Queen and her son but the ultimate decision would have fallen to the monarch and been a difficult one.