Updated: January 15, 2022 2:03:49 pm
Britain’s Prince Andrew was on Thursday stripped of his royal patronages and military titles after a US court refused to dismiss a civil lawsuit pertaining to a case of sexual assault. The 61-year-old Duke of York is expected to defend himself in the case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre in New York.
The decision to revoke the honours was announced in a brief statement issued by Buckingham Palace. “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,” read the statement.
Revoking the royal titles is a significant, but not unprecedented move against the prince who was born as a member of the royal family in Buckingham Palace.
Andrew is the third of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s four children and is ninth in line for succession behind his elder brother Prince Charles, his son Prince William and his three children, Prince Harry and his two children. However, the Guardian reported that Prince Andrew will keep his role as “counsellor of state”, which allows him to take up the Queen’s official duties, if she is indisposed.
What titles will he lose?
Prince Andrew has been a part of the British Royal Navy for over two decades and had been a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War. With the revoking of military titles, he will lose at least a dozen titles. This includes that of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth, Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment, Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps, Colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own), Colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment, Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps, Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, and Royal colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, according to a BBC report.
The current Duke of York, Prince Andrew, was created Duke of York in 1986 & continues to support Yorkshire.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) August 1, 2018
The report also points out that Prince Andrew will also lose several honorary overseas titles like colonel-in-chief of The Royal Highland Fusiliers Of Canada, colonel-in-chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment, colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers of Canada and colonel-in-chief of the Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment).
The titles have been handed back to the Queen with immediate effect. She is expected to redistribute the titles among the other members of the royal family.
What we know of his finances
Estimating the net worth of any British royal is no easy task. According to media reports, Prince Andrew has two main sources of income — a £20,000 yearly pension that he receives from the navy (which he left in 2001) and a £249,000 yearly allowance he receives from the Buckingham Palace for his royal duties. The latter is said to have been suspended following the 2019 BBC interview in which Prince Andrew spoke about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In November 2019, Prince Andrew, in a statement from his official social media handles, said that he will be stepping back from his royal duties.
On this day in 1960, Prince Andrew was born at Buckingham Palace, the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years.
Happy Birthday to The Duke of York. pic.twitter.com/zoZErBHQbG
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 19, 2020
Apart from these, the prince is said to own multiple properties, including one gifted to him by the Queen for his wedding with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. This property was sold in 2007 for a reported sum of £15 million.
Not a first
Prince Andrew is hardly the first royal to lose his official roles and titles. In January 2020, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were stripped of their patronages, HRH titles and, in Harry’s case, the military roles. This came after the couple announced their decision to step back from royal duties after a long drawn out escalation of tensions with the British media and members of Buckingham Palace, among other reasons.
The duo relocated to the United States, where Meghan was born and brought up, and is now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Though they retain their ‘His and Her Royal Highness’ titles, Prince Harry and Meghan no longer use them. However, Harry, who, like Prince Andrew, was born in the Palace, continues to use his ‘Prince’ title.
Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from active royal life also had financial implications. It meant that Harry and Meghan will not receive any income from the public Sovereign Grant which holds the money paid by the government to the royal family for discharging their official duties. Later, it was announced that the couple had repaid around £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money that was used to renovate their home near Windsor Castle.
Prior to this, Prince Harry’s mother Diana lost her HRH title when she divorced Prince Charles in 1996.
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