‘Andrew on his own’ as Queen ‘draws strongest line’ between Royal Family and her son

On Thursday, Prince Andrew was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages in a shock announcement from Buckingham Palace. The Duke of York, 61, will also lose the ability to call himself His Royal Highness in an official capacity. The statement from the Palace confirmed the Queen’s assent to the decision to remove the titles from her son.

The titles will be returned to the monarch, 95, who will then redistribute them to other members of the Royal Family, it is understood.

The Palace statement read: “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 added: “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

Earlier this week, the move by Andrew’s legal team to dismiss a civil suit brought by Jeffrey Epstein accuser, Virginia Giuffre, was rejected by US judge Lewis Kaplan.

The Duke of York has consistently denied the allegations against him.

Royal expert Omid Scobie has described how Judge Kaplan’s verdict not to throw out Ms Giuffre’s civil suit was a key moment for whether the Duke of York would retain his titles.

The author of Finding Freedom told German news outlet Stern: “I wasn’t surprised because his last chance to avoid a trial was gone with Judge Kaplan’s decision.

“I always thought that at that moment the Royal Family would do anything to distance themselves from him.”

READ MORE: Prince Charles remains tight lipped over Andrew in first public outing

The revoking of Andrew’s titles comes the same day as anti-monarchist campaign group, Republic, published a letter bearing the signatures of over 150 military veterans calling for such a move.

The letter – addressed to the Queen – read: “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.

“These steps could have been taken at any time in the past 11 years. Please do not leave it any longer.”

Mr Scobie, commenting on the letter, said: “When you get to the point where the public is asking for it and this is an institution that serves the public, at some point you can’t ignore it.

“If it had taken longer, people would have looked at the Queen in a different way.

“Her jubilee is coming up – and that would have been the last thing they would have wanted.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.