ARCHIVE – Andrew, son of the Queen, is still Duke of York. Photo: Neil Hall/PA Wire/dpa
The second eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II has already lost his honorary military title – his mother took it from him, allegedly by mutual consent. He’s also rid of the term “Royal Highness”. But the pressure mounts for Andrew to return all awards and burn royal bridges to actually face a likely civil trial as a perfectly normal citizen.
The focus here is primarily on the northern English city of York, the namesake of his title Duke of York, to which his mother appointed him on the occasion of his marriage in 1986. First, a city council called for Andrew to be stripped of the traditional designation. Now the well-known horse race “Duke of York Stakes” wants to change its name. “It was never directly about Prince Andrew,” said the racecourse’s marketing director James Brennan, the newspaper “Yorkshire Post”. Therefore, the historical reference should be made clearer. “The name refers to a very different Duke of York.”
In fact, the race was named in 1895 after the title holder at the time, later King George V. The current favorite for the new name is “1895 Duke of York Stakes”. The symbolic step should also affect the Queen. The Queen is a horse enthusiast and has been a successful breeder for decades.
York is in line with the trend. “Bad advice” was anyone who maintained ties to Andrew, Government Member James Heappey told LBC on Wednesday. “He has presented the Royal Family with an enormous challenge in a year when we should be celebrating the exceptional service of Her Majesty The Queen as she reaches her Platinum Jubilee.” In 2022 it will be 70 years since the Queen ascended the throne. The celebrations culminate in a long weekend in London in early June with a military parade, church service and concert.
The palace fears that the Andrew case will overshadow the celebration year. The 61-year-old has not appeared in public for more than two years. According to royal experts, a return as part of the anniversary was not initially ruled out, but given the developments, such a step is now considered impossible.
The American Virginia Giuffre accuses the Queen’s son of having repeatedly sexually abused her as a minor a good 20 years ago. She demands compensation. Giuffre alleges that the late US entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein and his ex-partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently found guilty in the case, referred her to Andrew and pressured her into having sex with the nobleman. The prince categorically rejects this.
The allegations have been known for a long time. This is one of the reasons why there should be great displeasure in the palace that Andrew did not resolutely counter the allegations earlier, as the newspaper “Daily Mirror” reported. As a last resort, Andrew is said to be planning to settle the case out of court for a significant sum of up to £10m.
But the chances are slim. “It is Virginia’s firm belief that Andrew should go to jail for what he did,” the Mirror quoted a source close to Giuffre’s attorneys as saying. A trial in New York – what a coincidence given Andrew’s title – is fast approaching. But ultimately it could be enough to see him financially and morally on the ground, said the “Mirror” source. “He’s already done.”
A new TV documentary broadcast by ITV on Tuesday threatens to further sour anti-Andrew sentiment. A former bodyguard taunts the 61-year-old in “Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Pedophile” with the anecdote that Andrew freaked out when the teddy bears he collects were wrongly arranged. The accusation that Epstein confidante Maxwell, once a close friend of the prince, went in and out of the palace at will is probably more serious. Nevertheless, the Queen apparently does not want to distance herself completely from Andrew. The 61-year-old will – like all royals – receive a medal for the anniversary, the “Daily Mail” recently reported. (SDA)