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Prince Andrew stripped of military titles amid sex abuse lawsuit

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Just a day after a judge ruled the sex abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew could go ahead, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday Queen Elizabeth II stripped Andrew of his honorary military titles. The Queen also ordered Andrew to give honorary leadership of various charities, known as royal patronages. According to British media, this means Andrew will no longer be referred to as “his royal highness” in official settings.

“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” the palace said in a statement. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

More than 150 British navy and army veterans had written to the Queen asking her to strip Prince Andrew of his military titles. In a joint letter issued by the group Republic, they said they were “upset and angry” that Andrew “brought the services he is associated with into disrepute.” They added he failed to live up to the “very highest standards of probity, honesty and honourable conduct” that are expected of British officers.

“We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as head of state and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force,” they wrote in the letter. “These steps could have been taken at any time in the past eleven years. Please do not leave it any longer.”

Still, Rupert Wieloch, a former British Army colonel who trained in the military with Andrew, acknowledged the Queen had been put “in an invidious situation.”

“I think it is very awkward and uncomfortable for serving soldiers to have to pay toasts and tributes to anyone who is in an honorary position, who doesn’t match the standards, the high standards that are expected of our armed forces in the 21st century,” Weiloch said. “And clearly, Prince Andrew is in that situation.”

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Just a day after a judge ruled the sex abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew could go ahead, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday Queen Elizabeth II stripped Andrew of his honorary military titles. The Queen also ordered Andrew to give honorary leadership of various charities, known as royal patronages. According to British media, this means Andrew will no longer be referred to as “his royal highness” in official settings.

“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” the palace said in a statement. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

More than 150 British navy and army veterans had written to the Queen asking her to strip Prince Andrew of his military titles. In a joint letter issued by the group Republic, they said they were “upset and angry” that Andrew “brought the services he is associated with into disrepute.” They added he failed to live up to the “very highest standards of probity, honesty and honourable conduct” that are expected of British officers.

“We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as head of state and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force,” they wrote in the letter. “These steps could have been taken at any time in the past eleven years. Please do not leave it any longer.”

Still, Rupert Wieloch, a former British Army colonel who trained in the military with Andrew, acknowledged the Queen had been put “in an invidious situation.”

“I think it is very awkward and uncomfortable for serving soldiers to have to pay toasts and tributes to anyone who is in an honorary position, who doesn’t match the standards, the high standards that are expected of our armed forces in the 21st century,” Weiloch said. “And clearly, Prince Andrew is in that situation.”

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