Prince Andrew could be stripped of his titles by Queen after Harry and Meghan Markle 'set precedent', say experts
PRINCE Andrew could be stripped of his royal title, experts have said – after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry "set a precedent".
The royal faces mounting pressure to drop the Duke of York from his name after being accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Giuffre three times when she was 17.
One royal expert has said it is "highly improbable" Andrew would ever lose his official title – as the case would need to pass through parliament first.
But he suggested similar action to Harry and Meghan, who were asked not to use their HRH titles when they quit royal life, could be taken.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told The Sun Online: "If he's going to step down from all royal links permanently, as Meghan and Harry have, then you look at the situation where they kept the HRH and didn’t use it.
"They've set the precedent in that sense.
"That may apply if he were to lose this case or were to be perceived to lose this case."
Andrew has fiercely denied the allegations against him and says he has no memory of even meeting alleged victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
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But he faces mounting pressure to quit his military and charitable roles as the case against him ramps up.
Mr Fitzwilliams added: "What might happen to Andrew is a form of 'internal exile', where he might, for example, manage the royal estates or something similar.
"He would lose his remaining links with charities and his military links.
"In a worse case scenario, if he were to lose the civil case against him, it might be agreed that he would keep his HRH but would not use it."
Royal courtiers were last week reported to have discussed plans to send Andrew into “internal exile” — including stopping him using his title and other options, such as giving up all his charity links.
The Sunday Times reported royal insiders said it would be difficult to persuade the Queen to take away the title of Duke of York as “it was held by her father, George VI, before he became king and she bestowed it on her favourite son – But he has disgraced that title”.
One source told publication: “If he loses the case, the question is what do you do with him?
"You can’t make him resign like you would a normal person but he would be asked to put his dukedom into abeyance.”
The Queen’s second son is currently trying to get his bombshell lawsuit by his rape accuser dismissed – but judges last night ripped apart his lawyer's case.
He was told he would find out “pretty soon” if he succeeded in his bid to have a lawsuit by alleged victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre thrown out of court.
But legal experts say the early signs are not good after Judge Lewis Kaplan subjected Andrew’s legal team to a bruising encounter during a crucial hearing in New York.
In the meantime, he has not attended a single military event since he stepped back from royal duties two years ago.
And according to reports, officers are now said to have appeared uncomfortable at being asked to drink to the duke's health at the end of regimental dinners.
Being allowed to retain his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards and other military titles, Prince Andrew will put a stain on the regiment's proud history and will devalue the hard work of past and future generations of Grenadiers.
Julian Perreira, a former lance sergeant who served three tours of Afghanistan, said Andrew's continued involvement in his legal battles would “stain” the regiment’s history.
Mr Perreira told the publication: "Being allowed to retain his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards and other military titles, Prince Andrew will put a stain on the regiment's proud history and will devalue the hard work of past and future generations of Grenadiers.
"He must step down immediately."
Andrew said he would be "stepping back" from duties in 2019, following the fallout from his car-crash Jeffrey Epstein interview.
But Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, previously said it would be "very difficult" to see how he could return to the frontline of the monarchy while a suit is pending.
He told Newsweek: "Giuffre's lawsuit will preclude a return to public duties.
"There are too many legal questions surrounding the prince and it is increasingly doubtful that he can hold on to his HRH status."
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