The Queen might follow the precedent set by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle if Prince Andrew loses the civil sex abuse claim against him, a royal commentator has claimed.
The Duke of York is currently awaiting a judge’s decision over whether to drop the action brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims.
This is after Andrew’s lawyers revealed a secret settlement deal between Epstein and Giuffre, which showed that the case against the convicted sex offender had been settled in 2009.
The prince has consistently denied the allegations, and has not been convicted of any wrongdoing.
However, should he eventually lose the civil case against him, one royal commentator has claimed that the Queen’s son might follow Harry and Meghan Markle and the Duke of York could be prevented from using his royal title.
Speaking on the Jeremy Vine Show, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams suggested that the Queen might seek to prevent Andrew from exercising his royal titles officially.
“Looking at a precedent – which is very different but might work – when Harry and Meghan stepped back only to step down as senior working royals… they weren’t allowed to use them [their HRH titles].
“I would have thought that if the Dukedom was placed into abeyance, that would be the sort of thing that would make sense.”
When the Sussexes stepped down from royal duties last year, the Queen reportedly “put her foot down” to prevent the couple from continuing to use their HRH titles, although they continue to be referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
And, Richard admitted that as the Queen’s second son, extricating Andrew from royal affairs would not be an easy task.
“I would add, however, that he [Prince Andrew] was attached to 230 charities, and I think reportedly some 50 have severed links with him. He still has a link with large numbers of charities, and there are these military links.
“There’s no question whatsoever that I think the vast majority of people would think any royal links, if there was a case that he lost, would be inappropriate.”
“The problem is if he wins the case, you’ve had a car crash interview that so many people saw in November 2019 where he showed absolutely no empathy for the victims of Epstein at all.
“So the court of public opinion, I think, would wish him to have no royal responsibilities whatsoever.”
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