LONDON: Soon after a New York judge gave the green light to a civil lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that Britain's Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17, the Queen's stripped The Duke of York of his military ranks and royal patronage.
The Duke of York will defend the sex assault case as a private citizen.
British Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II, is stripped of his military ranks and royal patronage after facing sex assault accusations, according to the press service of Buckingham Palace.
"With the Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen," The Royal Family said in a statement on Thursday.
"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," the statement added.
It came after human rights activist Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan and accused Prince Andrew of raping her when she was 17 years old. However, Prince Andrew has denied the allegations, reported CNN.
The New York judge on Wednesday ruled against the motion by Andrew's legal team to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre. She alleged that she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to perform sex acts with the prince at the age of 17. Andrew has vigorously denied those claims, said the Amerian publication.
The prospect of a public trial that would attract global attention could put Andrew -- the third child (and reportedly the favourite son) of Queen Elizabeth II -- in an unprecedented situation for a senior British royal.
Earlier in November 2019, Britain's Prince Andrew announced that he's quitting royal duties following controversy over his "ill-judged" association with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Further, a photo of Andrew and Epstein strolling in Central Park provoked further controversy. Following this, Andrew had to quit as a trade envoy for the United Kingdom.