Prince Andrew returns military affiliations and patronages as he prepares to fight sexual abuse case

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Britain’s Prince Andrew has returned all of his military affiliations and patronages a day after a US judge rejected his attempt to dismiss a sexual abuse case against him.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Friday that the Duke of York returned his military affiliations and royal patronages to the Queen, “with the Queen’s approval and agreement.”

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” the statement added.

Queen Elizabeth’s third child is being accused by Virginia Guiffre of sexually abusing her in 2001 when she was 17 and being trafficked by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

She launched the legal proceedings against him in August 2020.

Prince Andrew denies the charges and his lawyers sought to dismiss her case arguing that their client was protected by a 2009 $500,000 (€442,600) settlement Guiffre made with Epstein that prevented her from suing any other “potential defendant”.

But Manhattan District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Wednesday that it was too soon to decide whether Giuffre and Epstein intended to release people like Andrew in their 2009 settlement agreement and that it was also premature to consider the prince’s efforts to cast doubt on Giuffre’s accusations, though he would be allowed to do so at a trial.

A prior attempt to throw out the case on the grounds Guiffre is not domiciled in the US had also been rejected.

Prince Andrew — the monarch’s second son — withdrew from royal duties following a widely criticised broadcast interview in late 2019 in which he said he did not recall having met Giuffre.

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Epstein killed himself in August 2019 as he awaited trial in the United States on sex trafficking charges that didn’t involve Andrew.

His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was last month convicted in Manhattan on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges related to several women after a month-long trial. Giuffre was not one of the alleged victims in that case.

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