Prince Andrew stripped of military affiliations amid sex assault lawsuit

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Prince Andrew The Duke of York arrives at the Headquarters of CrossRail in Canary Wharf on March 7, 2011 in London, England. Prince Andrew is under increasing pressure after a series of damaging revelations about him, including criticism over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier surfaced. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace said on Thursday that Prince Andrew‘s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to Queen Elizabeth II with her “approval and agreement.”

The palace statement came after more than 150 navy and army veterans wrote to the queen asking her to strip Andrew of all his military ranks and titles amid continued legal trouble for the prince, who is embroiled in a sex assault lawsuit in the U.S.

“With the queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

A U.S. district judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss a civil case against Andrew by an American woman, Virginia Giuffre, who alleges the royal sexually abused her when she was 17.

District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected an argument by Andrew’s lawyers that Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out at an early stage because of an old legal settlement she had with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier she claims set up sexual encounters with the prince.

He stressed that he wasn’t ruling on the truth of the allegations.

Andrew’s lawyers have said that the royal never sexually abused or assaulted Giuffre and that he “unequivocally denies Giuffre’s false allegations against him.”

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