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16th Sep 2022

Campaigners call for ‘disgrace’ Prince Andrew to be stripped of royal title

April Curtin

ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 27: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends the QIPCO King George Weekend at Ascot Racecourse on July 27, 2019 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Andrew’s potential continuation of royal duties has been branded a ‘serious misjudgement’

Prince Andrew is a “disgrace”, according to campaigners, who are calling for him to be stripped of his royal title.

Shortly after King Charles III took over as Britain’s new monarch, he appointed the Duke of York as one of his five counsellors of state – who stand in for the king when he is unwell or out of the UK.

Prince Andrew previously held this position during the Queen’s reign, behind Prince Philip, Charles, William and Harry. He now ranks fourth behind Queen Camilla, Prince William and Prince Harry, but just before new addition Prince Beatrice.

Andrew’s potential continuation of royal duties has been branded a “serious misjudgement” by anti-monarchy group Republic.

Speaking to The National, the group’s CEO Graham Smith said: “It is a disgrace – and a serious misjudgement – to allow Andrew any formal role as a royal. To be a Counsellor of State, making it possible that he will be conducting public duties on Charles’s behalf, is clearly unacceptable.

“Andrew’s reputation is in tatters, to think he might represent Britain at the highest levels is going to damage the monarchy, Charles, and the country’s reputation.”

Our Republic shared these views, and told The National: “Andrew’s status should be rejected and should the monarchy rally behind him they will show themselves as clearly unfit to rule.”

It comes after Prince Andrew was accused of forcing Virginia Giuffre to have sex with him when she was 17, which is under the age of consent under Florida Law. Giuffre said she was the victim of sex trafficking and abuse by billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein from the age of 16.

While the allegations first emerged in 2015, they largely fell under the spotlight in 2019, when Epstein was charged with sex trafficking, before being found dead in his cell.

A disastrous BBC interview later saw Andrew claim he could not have had sex with Giuffre because he was at home after a visit to Pizza Express in Woking, that her description of his dancing with her could not be true because he was unable to sweat, and that he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady”.

In January this year, the Queen stripped Andrew of his military patronages and ability to use the HRH title. A date was set for Andrew to give evidence under oath in March, but in February, he reached a £12 million out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, in which he agreed to make the substantial donation to her and her victims charity. The Queen is also understood to have contributed to the charity donation.

Prince Andrew accepted that Giuffre “suffered as an established victim of abuse”, but admitted no admission of liability and continues to strongly deny the claims.

Despite this, the Queen’s death has seen Andrew adopt a more visible role in recent days. His presence has riled some members of the public, with one heckler appearing to brand Prince Andrew a “sick old man” as he walked behind the Queen’s coffin in Edinburgh.

The 22-year old man was arrested and charged in connection with a “breach of the peace” on the Royal Mile.

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