The public will see a lot less of Prince Andrew in 2022 following the removal of his military and royal titles this week, according to insiders close to the British royal family.
Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement sent to Fox News that Queen Elizabeth, 95, agreed to accept the returned accolades in the wake of her son’s ongoing legal battle with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Now, sources close to the British royal family reveal that the return of Prince Andrew’s titles means he likely won’t show up to family happenings and events.
A source familiar with how the scandal is affecting the royal family told Vanity Fair Andrew will likely “disappear from sight,” meaning he will not be in attendance at celebrations for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee set for later this year.
Queen Elizabeth, 95, agreed to accept the returned accolades in the wake of her son Prince Andrew’s ongoing legal battle with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. (Victoria Jones/Pool via AP, File)
“He won’t be at the Jubilee, he is going to disappear from sight,” the source told the outlet.
“He knows that he cannot further tarnish the queen’s reputation, and that is very much the view of the family. The way they plan to deal with this is to remove Andrew from official royal life and public view. This has been the queen’s decision, but it is supported by other senior family members,” the insider added.
“With the queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the queen,” the palace confirmed in a released statement this week. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
On Wednesday, a judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the British prince by the American woman who said he sexually abused her when she was 17.
A source claimed that Andrew is “absolutely devastated” and “very shaken.”
Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre, who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
“This has come as a huge blow,” the insider dished to the outlet.
Meanwhile, an aide who has worked for the 95-year-old reigning monarch said Queen Elizabeth “has a great ability to compartmentalize” issues within the family.
Still, the aide said given that Andrew is one of her sons, the decision to remove his titles “will be a very sad one for her.”
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected an argument by Andrew’s attorneys that Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out at an early stage because of a previous legal settlement she had with Epstein, the late American financier she claimed set up sexual encounters with the royal, now 61. Kaplan said the $500,000 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre didn’t involve the prince and didn’t bar a suit against him now.
Queen Elizabeth II will become the first British monarch to reign for seven decades on Feb. 6. (Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images)
The queen’s second son previously quit public duties in November 2019, but he was still listed on the royal family’s website as a patron or member of around 100 charities and organizations.
Giuffre sued Andrew in August, alleging she was coerced into sexual encounters with him in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, at Epstein’s New York mansion and his estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Andrew’s lawyers had said the lawsuit lacked specificity and was disqualified by the deal she reached in 2009 with lawyers for Epstein. They also attacked Giuffre’s credibility and motives, saying in October that the lawsuit was aimed at achieving “another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him.” Kaplan said Giuffre’s complaint is neither “unintelligible” nor “vague” nor “ambiguous.”
Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties in 2019. (Getty Images)
Andrew has long denied Giuffre’s allegations. In late 2019, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight that sex with Giuffre “didn’t happen,” and he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her. His statements led critics to say he seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims. After the nuclear interview, Andrew stepped back from public duties.
The United Kingdom will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne with a military parade, neighborhood parties and a competition to create a new dessert for the Platinum Jubilee, Buckingham Palace said Monday.
Elizabeth will become the first British monarch to reign for seven decades Feb. 6, and festivities marking the anniversary will culminate in a four-day weekend of events June 2-5. It wasn’t immediately clear which events the queen, 95, would take part in after doctors recently advised her to get more rest.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and The Associated Press contributed to this report.