Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm whether or not Prince Andrew has lost his HRH title, Daily Star Online can reveal.
We reported last week that the Duke of York’s HRH title was sensationally dropped from the Royal Family’s birthday message.
The official Twitter account for Buckingham Palace posted a message to the Duke last Wednesday to mark his 60th birthday.
It included two pictures of the scandal-hit Duke, who stepped down from royal duties in November, including one of him as a baby and a recent portrait.
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But the tweet referred to the Duke – who gave up his duties over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal – as Prince Andrew and not HRH, despite it having done so in 2018 and 2019.
It read: “On this day in 1960, Prince Andrew was born at Buckingham Palace, the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years.
“Happy Birthday to The Duke of York.”
In both 2018 and 2019 it referred to Andrew as “HRH The Duke of York”, and prior to that it did not post birthday messages to him.
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The bombshell omission sparked suggestions the Duke had been, or is being, stripped of his HRH title, or is deciding not to use it.
When Daily Star Online contacted a spokeswoman for the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace, she told us last Wednesday the tweet “followed their house style”.
She said: "The tweet follows our house style and as was confirmed in November last year, The Duke has stepped back from his public duties and patronages for the foreseeable future and remains a member of the Royal Family."
Daily Star Online went back to the Palace on the same day to seek to clear up whether Andrew has retained his HRH title.
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But a week later we were yet to receive a response.
We made another approach for comment this afternoon, and asked whether Andrew is deciding not to use his HRH title instead – in the same way Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t use their titles when they step down in Spring.
But this evening the Palace – instead of answering the question – directed us to Andrew's initial announcement last year that he was stepping down.
In his statement he said: "I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."
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Andrew stepped down in November 2019 following a nightmare BBC Newsnight interview over his friendship with convicted paedophile Epstein.
He had faced questions over claims by Virginia Giuffre that he slept with her when she was 17 after she was trafficked by Epstein, an allegation he strongly denies.
He claimed that, on the night Virginia alleged they met at a nightclub, he was actually at a Pizza Express restaurant with his daughter Princess Beatrice.
And he refuted claims by Virginia that he was “sweating profusely” on the said-night, insisting he had a medical condition from his time in the Falklands War which meant he couldn’t perspire.
In the interview Andrew said that he would be "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency" over the Epstein allegations.
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But last month US authorities claimed he has provided "zero cooperation", a claim that reportedly left the Duke "angry and bewildered".
A source close to Andrew told the Daily Telegraph the royal is "happy to talk" to the FBI but claims he had not been approached by them.
Andrew was set to mark his birthday last week with a dinner at his and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson’s home at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.
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He was initially set to have a party, according to reports, which was allegedly scrapped by the Queen following the Epstein crisis.
Reports then emerged that the Duke’s pals had been declining his invitations to the meal, and that Fergie was rushing out more invitations to save the day.
The Queen is said to be “privately supportive” of her son, if also “deeply frustrated” with how his scandal has affected the family’s image, a source previously told The Times.
- Prince Andrew
- Royal Family
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