Why Prince Andrew hasn’t lost his ‘Prince’ and ‘Duke’ titles yet, says royal expert

The Duke of York and Queen Elizabeth II at Trooping the Color 2018.

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

  • The UK’s Prince Andrew will face a trial for sexual assault as a private citizen without HRH status.
  • Public figures have questioned why Andrew’s titles of ‘Prince’ and ‘Duke’ have not been removed.
  • It would require an Act of Parliament followed by Royal Assent, a royal expert told Insider.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Britain’s Prince Andrew will face sexual assault allegations as a private citizen, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.

“With the Queen’s approval and consent, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement sent to Insider. “The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

The prince is currently facing a legal battle against Virginia Giuffre Roberts, who filed a complaint in August 2021 accusing him of sexual assault. Giuffre alleged that Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew at his New York, London mansion and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands in 2001, when she was 17 year.

A palace spokesperson told Insider in 2019 that it was “categorically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts.”

Andrew will no longer use his HRH title in an official capacity, a royal source told Insider on Thursday. But some public figures are asking why he can still use his other royal titles, which include ‘Prince’ and ‘Duke of York’.

“If he’s stripped of his title, why is everyone still calling him Prince Andrew instead of Andrew?” Jake Shields, a former UFC/MMA fighter wrote on Twitter.

“Prince Andrew still cannot be Duke of York. If the Queen wants to strip some of him, he should be stripped of everything for the same reasons,” said author and women’s rights campaigner Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu. wrote on Twitter. “Losing HRH doesn’t cover it – after all, the Royal Family made Diana lose HRH status and she had to fight to retain the title of Princess of Wales.”

However, Buckingham Palace hasn’t scrapped its royal titles because it can’t – not without the British Parliament. It would be a complex process, according to Marlene Koenig, royal historian and expert on British and European royalty.

The Queen cannot remove Andrew’s titles without Parliament

As the Queen’s son, Andrew was born with his HRH and Prince title in 1960. He was made Duke of York upon his marriage to Sarah Ferguson in 1986, The Guardian reported. Ferguson retained her title as Duchess of York when they divorced a decade later.

Koenig told Insider it would take “an Act of Parliament followed by Royal Assent” to remove these titles.

She said parliament could pass a bill similar to the Deprivation of Titles Act 1917, which was introduced during World War I to deprive “enemy royals” of retaining their titles.

Royal Assent is when the Queen agrees to pass a bill, making it law. This is considered a formality, as Britain is a constitutional monarchy and the royal family has no legal powers.

However, Koenig believes this step depends on the outcome of Giuffre’s trial.

“If the verdict is in favor of Virginia, I think there will be further downgrades for Andrew, but – and that’s a big but – I don’t think this case will go to trial because I don’t think not that Andrew will want to reach the discovery stage,” Koenig said.

Royal commentator Christopher Warwick told Sky News the palace was unlikely to back the scrapping of the title as it “wouldn’t cover Andrew or the monarchy in glory”, reports Page Six.

As Insider’s Samantha Grindell previously reported, the royals appear to be on a “charm offensive,” sharing family photos and engaging with the press in hopes of positive coverage to distance themselves from Andrew’s legal battle.

Representatives for Buckingham Palace and Prince Andrew did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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