Prince Andrew: Royal commentator discusses removing titles
Prince Andrew’s association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, his now-notorious interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in November 2019 and the civil lawsuit he is facing in New York may cause the title of Duke of York to go into abeyance, according to royal expert Daniela Elser. The Australian commentator traced back the Duke of York to the Middle Ages, noting it has traditionally been bestowed by English monarchs upon their second sons.
However, she believes it unlikely the second son of future King William, Prince Louis, or any other member of the Royal Family will inherit this dukedom.
In a comment piece for News.com.au, the royal commentator wrote: “Traditionally, the title of Duke of York has gone to the monarch’s second son, a custom that dates back to the 14th century when King Edward III got the idea in his head and gave it to his son Edmund of Langley.
“Like his uncle David and his toxic Duke of Windsor title, today, I think we can confidently say the current Duke of York will also be the last, so poisonous has the title become.”
Last Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced Prince Andrew returned to the Queen his military and royal patronages.
Prince Andrew is ninth-in-line to the throne
Prince Andrew is the Queen’s second son
While he retains his full royal title, royal sources said the Duke won’t use his HRH style in any official capacity anymore.
The palace statement read: “With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
This announcement came one day after Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled against throwing out the civil lawsuit brought against the Duke by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre – formerly Virginia Roberts.
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Prince Andrew became the Duke of York in 1986
In August last year, she sued Andrew who, she claims, “committed sexual assault and battery” upon her when she was a teenager.
She alleges she was trafficked by Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell in August 2019, to have sex with the Duke when she was 17.
The Duke has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.
Speaking to Ms Maitlis in 2019, Andrew firmly stated he has no recollection of meeting Ms Giuffre.
Prince Andrew was stripped of his royal and military patronages
Prince Andrew and the Queen at Royal Ascot in 2017
Prince Andrew was given the title of Duke of York by the Queen upon his wedding with Sarah Ferguson in 1986.
The Duchess was stripped of her HRH following the divorce 10 years later, but can still style herself as Sarah, Duchess of York.
In her prediction for the future of the Duke of York title, Ms Elser also referred to the title of Duke of Windsor, which has yet to be picked up by another member of the Royal Family since the death of former King Edward VIII.
Prince Andrew is facing a civil lawsuit in the US
Edward VIII was made Duke of Windsor by his brother King George VI after he decided to abdicate in 1936 to be able to marry his lover, American socialite Wallis Simpson.
Following the abdication, which sparked a constitutional crisis and effectively changed the fate of then Princess Elizabeth making her the new heir to the throne, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor moved to Paris and tied the knot.
They lived their whole life abroad and were only allowed to return to Britain to mark a few significant moments for the Royal Family – including the untimely death of King George VI.
Another royal commentator, Richard Fitzwilliams, had previously discussed whether the “quintessentially English” Windsor title will ever be used again.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor
Speaking to Express.co.uk in 2019, he said: “It is ironic that, although the change in the name of the Royal Family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the quintessentially English Windsor in 1917 was a stroke of genius, this Dukedom is never likely to be used again by a member of the Royal Family.
“The Dukedom of Windsor is unlikely ever to be used again as it will forever be identified with the Queen’s uncle, who abdicated in 1936 to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson.
“His public reputation was for a while that of the King who gave up his throne for love, but in recent decades his reputation has become that of a King to whom patriotism and duty meant nothing, as well as a fascist sympathiser.
“His selfishness has become his epitaph.”