City of York no longer wants connection with royal as assault case progresses
Buckingham Palace is facing calls to strip Prince Andrew of his dukedom over the sexual assualt allegations against him.
His public position came under further scrutiny after the Queen removed his military titles and royal patronages on Thursday.
Prince Charles was reportedly instrumental in the decision to strip Andrew of his roles, which was made ahead of developments in his lawsuit that threatened to damage the monarchy.
A campaign has followed – launched by a senior member of York City Council – which seeks to remove Andrew’s title linking him to the city. And a minister could not confirm whether Andrew would continue to receive state security after calls for him to pay to protect himself.
A ruling earlier this week that Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault case against the duke could proceed to trial continues to have explosive consequences for Andrew.
Darryl Smalley, a York City Council executive, has begun a campaign to strip him of his dukedom over the “troubling allegations”.
He said: “York’s unique connection to the crown and the monarch is an important part of our city’s legacy and history, and a great source of pride.”
He added that, although Andrew “remains innocent until proven guilty”, the government and Buckingham Palace “must consider the implications of these troubling allegations moving forward”.
Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, said it was “untenable” for Andrew to keep his title “another day longer”. Andrew could remain a prince if he lost his dukedom.
The Queen stripped Andrew of his royal patronage and military titles on Thursday, meaning he could no longer use the style His Royal Highness.
The Prince of Wales was key to the royal family’s decision to distance itself from Andrew, according to The Sun.
The paper reported that a royal courtier had said: “It is Prince Charles who has led what is effectively a royal crisis management team formed to limit the reputational damage caused by Andrew’s disastrous association with Jeffrey Epstein.
“While the Queen has given her views on the matter she is naturally protective and sensitive to Andrew, who is acknowledged to be her favourite son. Whereas Charles has taken a consistently harder line with Andrew and is not exactly sympathetic to the position of his brother, whom he considers to be up to his neck in a dreadful mess of his own making.”
Charles refused to answer questions about his younger brother’s position as he toured a storm-damaged country estate in Scotland on Friday. A reporter asked him for his view, but he ignored the question and went on to shake hands with some of those he was there to meet during the Storm Arwen clear-up operation.
Campaigners have called on Andrew to pay for his own security and stop relying on the state in light of the allegations against him. Graham Smith, who runs the anti-monarchy group Republic, said Andrew should lose the privilege of state protection as there is no prospect of him returning to royal duties.
Damian Hinds, the security minister, refused to confirm whether the prince would continue to receive state protection. He said security forces such as the police would “do what is right and proportionate to protect the people of this country”, adding: “And we don’t publicise exactly what that covers.”
Questions over Andrew’s future public standing were sparked earlier this week when a US judge dismissed an attempt by his lawyers to block Ms Giuffre’s sexual assault case against him.
Ms Giuffre, who alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her when she was 17, said she was “pleased” with the ruling and for having the chance to “continue to expose the truth”.
She said: “My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law and must be held accountable.”