Queen Elizabeth II strips son Prince Andrew of all military titles amid sex abuse scandal

The decision was made after it became clear the prince would face a civil trial in New York in a sexual abuse case
Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen of England has stripped son Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, of all of his military titles days after it was decided that a civil sexual abuse trial brought by Virginia Giuffre against Andrew will move forward.

"With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," reads a statement Thursday from the Palace.

Additionally, Andrew will no longer be permitted to use the title "HRH" – His Royal Highness – in any capacity.

Andrew served in the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot and instructor, as well as the captain of a warship. The duke was formerly colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest and most celebrated British Army regiments. 

Previously, Buckingham Palace defended Andrew's military appointments, even after he stepped down from royal duties in 2019, following revelations about his relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein.

The queen's decision follows an open letter addressed to Her Majesty from retired servicemen who described their "upset and anger" at Andrew's retention of his military titles.

A U.S. district judge in New York on Wednesday refused to dismiss a civil case against Andrew by Giuffre, according to the Associated Press.