His Royal Highness No More? UK Queen Could Strip Prince Andrew of HRH Title Amid Sex Assault Case
10:22 GMT 23.09.2021 (Updated: 15:16 GMT 28.05.2023)
Earlier in the week, reports revealed that the Duke of York has finally been served with legal papers by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims that Prince Andrew sexually assaulter her when she was 17 years old.
Queen Elizabeth II may have to consider stripping her embattled son, Prince Andrew, of "His Royal Highness" title in the wake of a sex assault scandal revolving around him, claimed Nigel Cawthorne, author of "Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell, and the Palace".
"[...] The palace will need to address on behalf of the Queen the question whether it is proper for a member of the Royal Family can continue to retain their HRH title while a lawsuit proceeds against them", Cawthorne said as cited by Entertainment Daily.
The author underlined that "appearing in court is a grave matter" for Prince Andrew, even though the Duke of York is adamant in denying any wrongdoing.
In terms of the Queen, Cawthorne said, she "must surely rise above any reproach", as should all HRHs in the Royal Family.
"The moment Judge Kaplan agrees that papers have been served on the prince, it is difficult to see how the palace can fail to insist that the prince relinquishes his HRH title to avoid any appearance of the monarchy's entanglement with the case", the author asserted. "In fact, Prince Andrew should probably offer to do so if he hasn't already done so".
Keeping Up With the Royals
According to multiple media reports, the Duke of York has been served
with legal papers related to the sex assault accusations made by Virginia Robert Giuffre, one of the alleged victims of late American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
After reportedly "stonewalling" to avoid being served, Prince Andrew has conceded "the inevitable", per the Daily Mail, and is expected to "come out fighting". His legal team has embarked on a legal quest to debunk Giuffre's accusations "point by point, claim by claim", as they put it.
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the allegations since they emerged
, saying he doesn't recall ever meeting Giuffre and claiming that he had an alibi. Yet, amid the Epstein-related controversy he stepped down from his royal duties in 2019.
As the Duke of York allegedly tried to avoid being served with legal papers, both Guiffre's legal team and US Judge Lewis Kaplan criticised Prince Andrew for attempting to play a "game of hide and seek behind palace walls". The royal, for his part, insisted that the attempts to serve him were carried out improperly and not pursuant to international law.
A preliminary hearing for the civil case is scheduled to take place on 13 October in Manhattan.