Calls to strip Prince Andrew of Duke of York title

Calls to strip Prince Andrew of Duke of York title

Local MP says position is ‘untenable’ and association with city must end in light of US sexual assault allegations

Prince Andrew’s Duke of York title has been described as ‘untenable’. Photograph: David Hartley/Rex/Shutterstock

Prince Andrew’s Duke of York title has been described as ‘untenable’. Photograph: David Hartley/Rex/Shutterstock

Calls have been made in York for Prince Andrew to relinquish his title of Duke of York, with the city’s Labour MP calling it “untenable”.

The demand by Rachael Maskell, the MP for York Central, echoed sentiments expressed by a senior councillor, Darryl Smalley, who said the association was tarnishing the city’s reputation.

Maskell said: “It’s untenable for the Duke of York to cling on to his title another day longer; this association with York must end. There’s a very serious allegation made against this man of privilege and entitlement. I’m working with agencies to tackle sexual violence and misogyny.”

Smalley, a Liberal Democrat who is an executive member for culture, leisure and communities on the city of York council, said it had been argued that Andrew losing titles was important to protect the military.

'How do you view it?': Prince Charles avoids question about Prince Andrew – video
00:19
‘How do you view it?’: Prince Charles avoids question about Prince Andrew – video

“I think the vast majority of people in York feel exactly the same in protecting the reputation of the city.”

Smalley said it would require an act of parliament to remove the title but that should not stop it happening because of the shame being brought on Andrew as Duke of York.

Timeline

Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew

Show

In the early 90s, Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of British media tycoon Robert Maxwell, met investment banker and financier Jeffrey Epstein. Their relationship was initially romantic, but it evolved into something more akin to Maxwell being a confidante and personal assistant. 

Prince Andrew was reportedly introduced to Epstein through Maxwell in 1999, and Epstein reportedly visited the Queen’s private retreat
in Aberdeenshire.

Some have suggested the introduction was made earlier. A 2011 letter to the Times of London from the prince’s then private secretary, Alastair Watson, suggests Andrew and Epstein knew each other from the early 90s.

Andrew, Maxwell and Epstein are seen together at Donald
Trump
’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Later that year, Epstein and Maxwell
attend a joint birthday party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen.

Andrew and Epstein holiday together and are pictured on a yacht in Phuket, Thailand, surrounded by topless women. The Times of London reported the prince’s holiday was paid for by Epstein.

In the same year, Virginia Giuffre, then 17, claims to have had sex
with Andrew in Maxwell’s home in Belgravia, London. Giuffre, whose surname was
Roberts at the time of the alleged incidents, says she slept with Andrew
twice more, at Epstein’s
New York home and at an “orgy” on his private island in the Caribbean.

Epstein is jailed for 18 months by a Florida state court after pleading guilty to
prostituting minors.

Soon after his release, Epstein is visited by
Andrew in New York. The pair are photographed together in Central Park. Footage
emerges years later, reportedly shot on 6 December, that appears to show Andrew
inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion waving goodbye to a woman from behind a door.

Andrew quits his role as UK trade envoy following a
furore over the Central Park photos.

Allegations that Andrew had sex with Giuffre emerge
in court documents in Florida related to Epstein. The papers say she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is below the
age of consent under Florida law. Buckingham Palace denies the allegations. The claims against Andrew are later struck from US civil
court records following a federal judge’s ruling.

Andrew is accused of sexual
impropriety by a second alleged Epstein victim, Johanna Sjoberg. She claims he
touched her breast at the billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.
Buckingham Palace says the allegations are “categorically untrue”.

Epstein is found dead in his jail cell after being re-arrested and charged with sex trafficking. A medical examiner says the death was a suicide. A pilot on Epstein’s private jet later that month claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Giuffre.

Andrew takes part in a disastrous BBC TV interview during which he claims he could not have had sex with Giuffre because he was at home after a visit to Pizza Express in Woking, and that her description of his dancing with her beforehand could not be true because he was unable to sweat, and that he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady”. After several days of negative reaction, Andrew announces he is to step back from public duties “for the foreseeable future”.

US prosecutor Geoffrey Berman gives a public statement suggesting there has been “zero cooperation” with the investigation from Andrew.

After Berman again claims Andrew has “completely shut the door” on cooperating with the US investigation in March, lawyers for the prince insist he has repeatedly offered to cooperate and accuse US prosecutors of misleading the public and breaching confidentiality.

Maxwell, who has seldom been seen in public in recent years, is arrested by the FBI on charges related to Epstein. Unsealed testimony from a 2015 civil case reveal a series of claims about her role in Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring, including allegations that she trained underage girls as sex slaves. 

US officials confirm that Prince Andrew has received court papers relating to a sexual assault civil lawsuit from Giuffre, seeking damages. Her lawyers had earlier said the duke had officially been served with the papers, but his legal team had disputed the claim. Two weeks later, a court in New York granted his lawyers permission to see the confidential settlement agreement between Giuffre and Epstein.

The Metropolitan police in London say they are taking no further action after a review of the allegations that Prince Andrew assaulted Giuffre. In August, the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick, had said “no one is above the law” and that she had asked her team to look at the material again.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial ends with a guilty verdict on five of the six counts she faced.

A judge in New York rejects Prince Andrew’s attempt to throw out the sexual abuse civil lawsuit brought against him by Giuffre. The prince’s lawyers had attempted to argue that Giuffre’s 2009 settlement with Epstein shielded the duke from her taking legal action against him.

Queen Elizabeth II strips her son of a range of military affiliations and royal patronages after more than 150 military veterans write to describe their “upset and anger”.

Was this helpful?

“York is fantastic, we have got a lot to be proud of and one thing we don’t want is to be so burdened with this link to Prince Andrew.”

Given the cost of living crisis and the scandal over the Covid parties in Downing Street, Smalley said he was not going to pretend that Prince Andrew was the number one issue for residents of York.

“It is important for us as councillors and city leaders that we raise these concerns, just as servicemen and veterans did in their letter to the Queen.

“It’s our duty really to make clear that we are very unhappy that despite him not using titles such as ‘His Royal Highness’ he still somehow retains the title of Duke of York. It seems strange to a lot of us here in York.”

Topics

  • Prince Andrew
  • Monarchy
  • York
  • Yorkshire
  • news
Reuse this content