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Prince Andrew loses military affiliations, royal patronages amid sex abuse lawsuit

Move was made with the Queen's 'approval and agreement,' says Buckingham Palace

Prince Andrew attends the Afghanistan service of commemoration at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England, in March 2015.

Prince Andrew attends the Afghanistan service of commemoration at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England, in March 2015.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP/JUSTIN TALLIS

RCI

Buckingham Palace said on Thursday that Prince Andrew's honorary military titles and royal patronages have been returned to Queen Elizabeth with her "approval and agreement."

More than 150 navy and army veterans had written to the Queen asking her to strip Andrew, 61, of all his military ranks and titles after a U.S. judge said Wednesday a sex assault lawsuit against him could go ahead.

In a joint letter issued by the group Republic, they said Andrew had brought the services he is associated [with] into disrepute.

The palace said in a brief statement that 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, the statement added.

A U.S. district judge in New York City on Wednesday refused to dismiss (new window) a civil case against Andrew by an American woman, Virginia Giuffre, who alleges the royal sexually abused her two decades ago, when she was 17.

District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected an argument by Andrew's lawyers that Giuffre's lawsuit should be thrown out at an early stage because of an old legal settlement she had with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and late convicted sex offender she claims set up sexual encounters with the prince.

Kaplan stressed that he wasn't ruling on the truth of the allegations.

Andrew's lawyers have said that the royal never sexually abused or assaulted Giuffre and that he unequivocally denies Giuffre's false allegations against him.

Palace officials have declined to comment on the ongoing legal matter.

The Associated Press

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