'He should have lost it long ago': People of York call on Prince Andrew to be stripped of Duke title

‘He should have lost it long ago’: People of York call on Prince Andrew to be stripped of Duke title

Residents in York have today called on Prince Andrew to be stripped of his Duke title after settling in his US sex assault lawsuit.

The royal has faced calls to lose his Duke of York title – which he was given by the Queen on his wedding day in 1986 – amid the civil case brought by Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre.

Dignitaries in the city had previously called for him to be stripped of the title for causing ‘deep hurt and embarrassment’ to residents due to his relationship with the paedophile financier.

Last month the 61-year-old was stripped of his military roles and royal patronages and was told he would no longer be known as ‘His Royal Highness’.

But the pressure is now growing for him to lose or give up the Duke of York title after reaching a £12million settlement with Ms Giuffre, who now goes by her married name of Roberts.  

Today, Phil Pinder, a retailer in the famous cathedral city told The York Press: ‘York deserves better.

‘He has been stripped of his royal duties; he has done a settlement out of court ending the prospect of any kind of legal clearing of his name so the only option is for him to permanently step down as the Duke of York as well.

Demands for Buckingham Palace to reveal how Prince Andrew (L) will pay for his £12million sexual abuse lawsuit intensified last night after royal aides refused to say whether it will be partly funded by the Queen (R)

Demands for Buckingham Palace to reveal how Prince Andrew (L) will pay for his £12million sexual abuse lawsuit intensified last night after royal aides refused to say whether it will be partly funded by the Queen (R)

Andrew at York Racecourse to open the new weighing room in May 2015

Andrew at York Racecourse to open the new weighing room in May 2015

Calls have been made for Andrew to lose his dukedom (York Minster is pictured)

Calls have been made for Andrew to lose his dukedom (York Minster is pictured)

Queen ‘personally paid £2m to Virginia Roberts’s charity’ as part of Andrew’s £12m settlement

The Queen personally made a £2million payment to Virginia Roberts’ charity as part of Prince Andrew’s £12m settlement, according to reports – as calls grow for a full disclosure about where the money to pay off his accuser has been found.  

Royal aides had earlier refused to say whether the settlement will be partly funded by the monarch, but she is understood to have agreed to help the Duke of York, providing she was not linked to any personal payment to Miss Roberts.

A source told the Mirror: ‘She could not be seen to be making a payment to a victim of sexual assault, who accused her son of being an abuser. But a deal was structured in such a way to arrange a sizeable financial contribution to the settlement by way of a charitable donation instead.’

Furthermore, despite growing pressure for him to be stripped of his titles, Andrew is expected to be allowed to remain as Queen’s Counsellor of State and keep his dukedom and service rank of Vice-Admiral. 

It came amid claims Andrew was offered a ‘bridging loan’ by Prince Charles and the Queen so his US lawyers could do a quick deal with Ms Roberts, now known by her married name Giuffre. The Duke of York’s mother and older brother reportedly met last week before Charles wrote to his younger sibling urging him to ‘see sense’ and ‘shut it down’.

An insider told The Sun: ‘Charles wrote to Andrew asking for him to ‘see sense’. Charles and the Queen prepared a bridging loan so that Andrew’s lawyers could confidently make the offer. This means it goes away before the deposition date on March 10 and crucially before the service of Thanksgiving for the Duke of Edinburgh, which Andrew will attend as a family member.’ 

It comes as politicians and campaigners have insisted on ‘full transparency’ over whether public money will be involved in the settlement. 

Miss Roberts – who brought the lawsuit under her married name Giuffre – has alleged she was forced to have sex with the duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York agreed to an out-of-court settlement with Miss Roberts, now 38, on Tuesday, weeks after he had vowed to contest her rape claims at a public trial. In the settlement, there was no admission of liability by Andrew, who has always denied the specific allegations.

 

‘York deserves another royal to represent it instead.’ 

Mr Pinder also suggested the ‘controversial’ choice of Prince Harry, who already holds the title of Duke of Sussex.  

Head of York Retail Forum David Skaith agreed that it did not make sense for Prince Andrew to lose his other titles, step back from his royal responsibilities and take a back seat yet remain the Duke of York.

Meanwhile York residents also took to Twitter to state their case. One user wrote: ‘He’s never really done anything for York. I don’t think of him as representing us. But in our long history I’m sure we’ve had a few wrong uns.’ 

Simon Lock, in Elvington, tweeted that the prince should have lost the title when the Queen took back his HRH and other patronages.

‘From a York point of view, how embarrassing is it to be represented by such a man? If he doesn’t hand it back voluntarily then the Queen should take it.’  

It comes after Labour MP Rachael Maskell, who represents York Central, has called on the royal to remove his association with the city in light of the settlement in his civil sex case brought by Virginia Giuffre.

Ms Maskell welcomed the Duke of York’s pledge to donate money to Mrs Giuffre’s charity which supports victims’ rights, but said his relationship with disgraced financier Epstein had caused ‘deep hurt and embarrassment’ to York residents. 

Ms Maskell said: ‘Although it is a relief that Prince Andrew has finally acknowledged and expressed regret for his close association with a convicted sex offender and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, his long delay in doing so and initial response to the charges and Ms Giuffre have been source of deep hurt and embarrassment to many people across the city.

‘Carrying a title does create an ambassadorial relationship with that place, and for somewhere with a global reputation, such as York, this is extremely important.

‘It is to be welcomed that he has now pledged to support the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and it’s victims.

‘To demonstrate his seriousness in this endeavour, and his respect for those affected by abuse and the people of our city, I would ask that his first act of contrition is to confirm his support for the withdrawal of his ducal title.’

Quoting a poll from York’s daily newspaper The Press, Ms Maskell highlighted how 88 per cent of people in the city wanted Prince Andrew’s association with it to be removed, but said there is ‘currently no legal route by which this can be achieved’.

Ms Maskell, who has previously requested a debate into how aristocratic titles which take their name from a geographical locations are assigned, called for Parliament to pass legislation which would enable people to vote for the withdrawal of Andrew’s title.

It comes after nearly nine in ten residents in York demanded that Prince Andrew be stripped of his dukedom.

A survey by York’s daily newspaper The Press found that 88 per cent of its readers want to see the prince’s Duke of York honours taken away from him.

The Duke of York Stakes, one of York Racecourse’s most prestigious racing events, yesterday revealed it is planning to rename the sprint ‘The 1895 Duke of York Stakes’ to ‘better reflect its long history and the specific Duke of York that it remembers’.

Nearly nine in ten residents in York have demanded that Prince Andrew be stripped of his dukedom as the dramatic fallout from his sex abuse lawsuit rumbles on, a poll suggests

Nearly nine in ten residents in York have demanded that Prince Andrew be stripped of his dukedom as the dramatic fallout from his sex abuse lawsuit rumbles on, a poll suggests

The prince pictured with his accuser Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell

The prince pictured with his accuser Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell

A York Racecourse spokesman told The Press that the Stakes was introduced in 1895 and named after Prince George, the Duke of York at the time – later King George V.

Meanwhile, more than 900 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for Andrew’s dukedom to be revoked.

The petition claims that Andrew has ‘a lack of morals, lack of humanity and lack of judgement by protracted fraternising with Jeffrey Epstein’ and has a ‘total lack of caring for others’.

‘These are not Yorkshire values. Having him associated with such a proud, fair and straight talking county is contradictory and embarrassing,’ it adds.

And pubs across the country are debating whether to rename their Duke of York pubs as Andrew’s case continues.

In Marylebone in west London, the manager of The Duke of York Gastropub said there would be a meeting this week to discuss a potential name change.

The manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘We won’t decide either way until next week in a meeting amongst the owners. It’s a business change of name with the bank, and on credit card machines, so it’s not just straightforward, but no decision’s been made on that at the moment.’

In a round of interviews this morning, the Armed Forces minister said the associations kept by Andrew were ‘horrifically ill-advised’.

Speaking on LBC, James Heappey said Andrew had ’caused enormous challenges for the royal family in a year when we should be celebrating the extraordinary service of Her Majesty the Queen as she reaches her platinum jubilee’.

He said he could not give any further comments which ‘might risk being too colourful’.

It comes after a friend today said Prince Andrew is feeling ‘relatively chipper’ and ‘relieved’ after his mother the Queen ‘personally’ covered £2million of his £12m pay off for his sexual assault accuser Virginia Roberts.

Residents in York have today called on Prince Andrew (pictured in 2021) to be stripped of his Duke title after settling in his US sex assault lawsuit

Residents in York have today called on Prince Andrew (pictured in 2021) to be stripped of his Duke title after settling in his US sex assault lawsuit 

The disgraced royal’s thoughts are now turning to the future and even a possible public role, it is claimed – despite this being a vanishingly unlikely prospect given his reputation will now be forever tarnished by his decision to settle. 

The 61-year-old has previously shown himself impervious to public outrage over his behaviour, even reportedly considering his disastrous Newsnight interview as a success. 

‘He is feeling relatively chipper, under the circumstances,’ a friend told the Telegraph, summing up his current state of mind. ‘You can understand the level of personal relief involved.’

Royal aides had earlier refused to say whether Andrew’s settlement would be partly funded by the monarch, but she is understood to have agreed to help the Duke of York, providing she was not linked to any personal payment to Miss Roberts.

A source told the Mirror: ‘She could not be seen to be making a payment to a victim of sexual assault, who accused her son of being an abuser. But a deal was structured in such a way to arrange a sizeable financial contribution to the settlement by way of a charitable donation instead.’

Furthermore, despite growing pressure for him to be stripped of his titles, Andrew is expected to be allowed to remain as Queen’s Counsellor of State and keep his dukedom and service rank of Vice-Admiral. 

It came amid claims Andrew was offered a ‘bridging loan’ by Prince Charles and the Queen so his US lawyers could do a quick deal with Ms Roberts, now known by her married name Giuffre. The Duke of York’s mother and older brother reportedly met last week before Charles wrote to his younger sibling urging him to ‘see sense’ and ‘shut it down’.

An insider told The Sun: ‘Charles wrote to Andrew asking for him to ‘see sense’. Charles and the Queen prepared a bridging loan so that Andrew’s lawyers could confidently make the offer. This means it goes away before the deposition date on March 10 and crucially before the service of Thanksgiving for the Duke of Edinburgh, which Andrew will attend as a family member.’ 

It comes as politicians and campaigners have insisted on ‘full transparency’ over whether public money will be involved in the settlement. 

Miss Roberts – who brought the lawsuit under her married name Giuffre – has alleged she was forced to have sex with the duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York agreed to an out-of-court settlement with Miss Roberts, now 38, on Tuesday, weeks after he had vowed to contest her rape claims at a public trial. In the settlement, there was no admission of liability by Andrew, who has always denied the specific allegations.

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