Prince Andrew Must Give up ‘Duke of York’ Title After Settlement With Giuffre, City MP Says
21:10 GMT 16.02.2022 (Updated: 15:18 GMT 28.05.2023)
© AP Photo / Sakchai LalitIn this Nov. 3, 2019 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew arrives at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) in Nonthaburi, Thailand. Prince Andrew wasn’t on trial in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking case, but her conviction is bad news for the man who is ninth in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, file)
© AP Photo / Sakchai Lalit
The son of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, will pay more than £12 million to his accuser Virginia Giuffre as part of the court settlement, announced on Tuesday. The plaintiff accused him of sexual assault that allegedly took place when she was 17 years old.
Prince Andrew is facing pressure to relinquish his title as the Duke of York after a member of the British parliament for York Rachael Maskell stated that she is looking into taking steps in the House of Commons to remove it by force.
“A young woman trafficked & exploited. She bravely spoke out. People of privilege, position & power tried to suppress & silence. This must be a turning point, where York is not a Duke's title but a people’s movement to fight for the rights of women & girls,” Maskell wrote on Twitter.
According to UK media, Labour MP Maskell has already talked with other Members of Parliament to examine what could be done to force Prince Andrew to give up his last royal title, granted to him in 1986. She hopes that the Queen’s son will do it voluntarily.
“Trying to find the right piece of legislation is important but we clearly have got things coming back to the Commons in the next few weeks [so] there may be some manoeuvres which can be put in place,” she said, as cited by The Guardian.
According to Darryl Smalley, a Liberal Democrat councillor and the city council’s executive member for culture, leisure and communities, the high-profile case has become a “stain on the city’s reputation.”
“We really need the royal household and parliament to recognise that this is serious. We’re a world-renowned city with fantastic universities, environment and culture, but York’s image across the world is definitely being tarnished by this,” he said.
The court settlement, announced earlier, obliges the royal to pay £12 million. The sum will reportedly be partially covered by the 95-year-old queen, who has already privately helped her second son pay several million pounds in legal fees.
38-year-old Virginia Giuffre filed a sexual assault lawsuit against the Duke of York in August 2021, saying she was sex trafficked by financier Jeffrey Epstein as a teenage girl. She has claimed that Epstein forced her to have sex with his influential acquaintances, including Prince Andrew. In 2001, when she was 17, she reportedly had sex three times with him. Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations.
In January, after a court in New York refused to dismiss the lawsuit, he was stripped of his military ranks as well as the title “His Royal Highness,” and resigned from his royal duties.