Under the threat of a trial in New York, Prince Andrew surrenders his weapons to the Queen

Accused of sexual assault on a minor, the Duke of York, whose name continues to be involved in the Epstein affair, is moving further and further away from the British royal family.

His downfall only seems to be beginning. Embroiled in the Epstein affair, Prince Andrew, already largely excluded from the public life of the royal family, has now lost some of his titles. “With the Queen’s approval and consent, the Duke of York has returned his military affiliations and royal patronages to the Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on January 13. The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

A lawsuit in progress

Friend of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, arrested in 2019 for “sex trafficking in an organized gang of minors” and died in his cell a month later, Prince Andrew, 61, is also the subject of a trial in this case. Virginia Giuffre, 38, filed a complaint against him in New York court and accuses him of having sex with her when she was only 17. The son of Elizabeth II denies the facts and tried to file the complaint in civil. A request refused by the New York judge in charge of the case.

Read also ” “A young money-hungry sex bomb”: Prince Andrew’s lawyers attack his accuser

On video, interviewed by the BBC, Prince Andrew denies having had sex with Virginia Giuffre

The accusing finger of the military

The withdrawal of military titles and royal patronages from Prince Andrew also follows the request made to this effect earlier in the day on January 13 by more than 150 veterans of the British army. As AFP indicates, the signatories accuse the prince of having failed in the obligations of “probity, honesty and honorable behavior” incumbent on the British military. The Duke of York, a former helicopter pilot, had indeed distinguished himself during the Falklands War.

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Dependent elements

Prince Andrew’s close ties to Jeffrey Epstein were already forming a large stain on the Duke of York’s friendship chart when the affair broke. But this relationship only became more incriminating when a photo of him alongside Virginia Giuffre was revealed. Widely publicized, it shows him holding by the waist the one who was then a teenager. In the background is Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s accomplice convicted of sex crimes on December 29.

To counter this image, the crowned head had tried to defend himself in an interview with the BBC in November 2019 deemed calamitous. Appearing arrogant and devoid of compassion, he had not expressed a single regret about his friendship with Epstein, nor any empathy for his victims. Other elements of his past are then reassembled, such as the fact that he participated in a party on the theme “prostitutes and pimps” in the United States with Ghislaine Maxwell. No date has yet been set for the sentencing of Epstein’s accomplice, but his lawyer Bobbi Sternheim, “very disappointed with the verdict”, announced to the press her intention to appeal. Ghislaine Maxwell faces life imprisonment. It remains to be seen what fate will be reserved for Andrew.

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