Only hours later, Buckingham Palace released a statement that 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."
The shocking decision comes after Royal Navy, RAF and Army expressed their upset over Andrew still having his titles. As OK! reported, the palace previously suspended the Duke's military appointments when he stepped down from his public duties in 2019, but he stilled retained the roles.
More than 150 veterans signed an open letter this week calling for pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's former pal to be stripped of the titles.
"We are particularly upset and angry that Prince Andrew remains a member of the armed forces and continues to hold military titles, positions and ranks, including that of Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy," the letter read. “We are therefore asking that you take immediate steps to strip Prince Andrew of all his military ranks and titles and, if necessary, that he be dishonorably discharged."
Andrew has been under fire ever since he tried to justify his friendship with Jeffrey and Ghislaine Maxwell in a disastrous 2019 BBC interview. Last year, Virginia filed a lawsuit against Her Majesty's son, claiming Jeffrey and Ghislaine forced her to have "disgusting" sex with the royal three times when she was only 17.
Andrew "unequivocally denies Giuffre’s false allegations against him,” the defense has insisted, per New York Post.
His legal team attempted to get the case dismissed by claiming Virginia's 2009 settlement with Jeffrey also protected their client from a case being brought against him in the future since the recently undisclosed documents mention "other potential defendants." However, Judge Lewis Kaplan declared the deal bars "any other person" from using it in another case, preventing Andrew from using the previous agreement as grounds for the dismissal of his own suit.