Prince Andrew has been officially stripped of his military affiliations and royal patronages, Buckingham Palace said in a statement released 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 breaking statement said.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
The major announcement comes just a day after a federal judge in New York denied Andrew’s motion to drop the civil case against him.
The case was filed by Virginia Giuffre, who accused the royal of sexually assaulted and abusing her when she was 17— and a minor — in 2001.
The lawsuit, filed by Giuffre under the Child Victims Act in August 2021, alleged that Jeffrey Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell trafficked and abused Giuffre after she began working at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Prince Andrew, a friend of Epstein, then sexually assaulted Giuffre three times.
“During each of the aforementioned incidents, Plaintiff was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew,” the lawsuit states, explaining that Giuffre “feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth, and authority.”
The filing says that Andrew’s alleged “sexual assault and battery of Plaintiff have caused her, and continue to cause her, significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.”
Giuffre issued a statement to ABC News alongside her federal court filing last year.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said at the time. “The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
“I did not come to this decision lightly,” she added. “As a mother and a wife, my family comes first — and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates — but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.