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Prince Andrew will be allowed keep remaining honours after sex abuse settlement

Prince Andrew will remain as counsellor of state to Britain's queen and will also retain his Dukedom and Royal Navy rank of Vice Admiral
The Duke of York, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell (US Department of Justice/PA)

The Duke of York, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell (US Department of Justice/PA)

Victoria Ward

Prince Andrew will remain as counsellor of state to Britain's queen and will also retain his Dukedom and Royal Navy rank of Vice Admiral, despite public pressure in the UK to strip him of all his remaining privileges.

Buckingham Palace sources indicated yesterday that while he had agreed a financial settlement with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, Andrew would not be further humiliated by being stripped of the titles.

It came amid considerable public outrage that the duke had managed to avoid legal scrutiny by paying Ms Giuffre an estimated £12m (€14.3m) as part of the deal but made no admission of guilt.

Queen Elizabeth has agreed to contribute to the payoff, it is understood.

Ms Giuffre alleged that the duke sexually abused and raped her on three separate occasions in 2001, when she was 17, a claim he has denied.

The six-month legal drama came to an abrupt end on Tuesday, when both sides issued a joint statement confirming that they had settled out of court.

In January, the duke was effectively sacked as a working royal when he was stripped of all military titles and patronages by his mother and agreed to no longer use his HRH title.

However, the decision to allow him to keep his remaining titles will be seen as an indication that he retains Queen Elizabeth's support.

As a counsellor of state, he is legally entitled to step in and represent the sovereign if she is temporarily incapacitated, for example due to illness, and is unable to undertake her official duties.

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew

The role is undertaken by any spouse of the monarch and the next four adults in the line of succession, currently Prince Charles, his sons William and Harry, and Andrew. It means that of the four people who hold the title, two are no longer working members of the royal family.

It is understood that there are no plans to amend the current legislation, despite the fact that Harry is now living an independent life in California and the duke's reputation has been shredded.

As a former member of the Armed Forces, Andrew, who served in the Royal Navy, retains his current military rank of Vice Admiral. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said any decision on his military honorific "rests obviously with the Palace".

The prince, 61, said in a statement on Tuesday he "regrets his association" with the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and had agreed to make a "substantial donation" to Ms Giuffre's victims' charity.


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