Army veterans tell Queen: ‘Strip Prince Andrew of all his military ranks’

A letter from RAF, Navy and Army veterans says ‘Prince Andrew has fallen well short of’ the British armed forces high standards

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More than 150 Royal Navy, RAF and Army veterans have written to the Queen, calling on her to strip the Duke of York of all his ranks and titles within the British armed forces.

“Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post,” they wrote in the joint letter issued by the pressure group Republic.

“Officers of the British armed forces must adhere to the very highest standards of probity, honesty and honourable conduct.

“These are standards which Prince Andrew has fallen well short of.

“It is hard not to see, when senior officers are reportedly describing him as ‘toxic’, that he has brought the services he is associated with into disrepute.

“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 dishonourably discharged.

“We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as head of state and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

“These steps could have been taken at any time in the past eleven years. Please do not leave it any longer.”

In a decision made public on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Giuffre, 38, could pursue claims that Andrew battered her and intentionally caused her emotional distress while Epstein was trafficking her.

The 61-year-old prince, the Queen's second son, has denied Giuffre's accusations that he forced her to have sex more than two decades ago at a London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two Epstein properties.

The judge's decision means Andrew could be forced to give evidence at a trial which could begin between September and December 2022 if no settlement were reached.

His legal team said on Thursday they would not be commenting on the development.

The prince was forced to step down from public duties in 2019 because of his connections to Epstein and in the wake of a disastrous BBC TV interview which he had hoped would clear his name, but instead led to ridicule and further questions.

"Regardless of the result of Virginia Giuffre’s civil case against Prince Andrew, his position in Britain's armed forces is now untenable," the veterans' letter said.

Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday it would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.