Prince Andrew’s currently undergoing a civil sex assault case with accuser Virginia Guiffre. Ms Giuffre is suing the prince claiming he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 and a minor in some US states.
The Duke vehemently denies the allegations but his ongoing legal struggles have prompted speculation on whether he should maintain his titles and position in the future. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams spoke about the Duke of York’s titles on The Jeremy Vine Show.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: “I would have thought in the circumstance of Andrew losing his title, we’re looking perhaps at a precedent which is very different but might work. “When Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior working royals, they were allowed to keep their HRH titles, but they weren’t allowed to use them.
“I would add however – he was attached to 230 charities – he still has links with a large number of charities, there are these military links, and there is no question whatsoever what everyone would think that these royal links, if he lost the case, would be inappropriate.”
He continued: “The problem is if he wins the case, here’s the difficulty, you’ve had a car crash interview that so many people have saw, where he showed absolutely no empathy to the victims of Epstein at all, you’ve got the fact that he was not only friends with Epstein but now the convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
“You’ve also got the fact that so far he hasn’t cooperated with the FBI – atleast reportedly not – when they’re trying to trace Epstein’s accomplices.” Prince Andrew has been the Duke of York since his 1986 wedding to Sarah Ferguson, when the Queen gifted the title to her second-born son.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle still style themselves as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, despite stepping down from the Royal Family. Speculation about the future of the Duke of York was further reignited following the conviction of Epstein’s partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, last week. The 60-year-old was found guilty on five of the six counts she faced, the most serious charge of which was sex trafficking a minor.
The verdict was reached after five full days of deliberation by a 12-person jury in New York. The verdict followed a high-profile trial that featured testimony from four women who described being abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.