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Top military figures said there would be ‘widespread relief’ after Prince Andrew was stripped of his beloved honorary titles.

The humiliating decision by the Queen came weeks before celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, in which the prince, then 22, served as a helicopter pilot.

Last night, a colleague of Andrew from the 1982 campaign said he was ‘stunned’ by the palace’s move while a former head of the Army said there would be ‘widespread relief’ in units associated with the disgraced prince.

Yesterday’s announcement drew a veil over Andrew’s 43-year association with the UK’s armed forces. 

However, the prince will retain his honorary rank of Vice Admiral, having been granted this by the Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

He had been due to be promoted to admiral on his 60th birthday in 2020 but asked to defer this after stepping down from public duties. 

Last night, a colleague of Andrew from the 1982 campaign (pictured) said he was ‘stunned’ by the palace’s move while a former head of the Army said there would be ‘widespread relief’ in units associated with the disgraced prince.

Last night, a colleague of Andrew from the 1982 campaign (pictured) said he was ‘stunned’ by the palace’s move while a former head of the Army said there would be ‘widespread relief’ in units associated with the disgraced prince.

Last night, a colleague of Andrew from the 1982 campaign (pictured) said he was ‘stunned’ by the palace’s move while a former head of the Army said there would be ‘widespread relief’ in units associated with the disgraced prince.

Yesterday’s announcement drew a veil over Andrew’s 43-year association with the UK’s armed forces. However, the prince will retain his honorary rank of Vice Admiral, having been granted this by the Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

Yesterday’s announcement drew a veil over Andrew’s 43-year association with the UK’s armed forces. However, the prince will retain his honorary rank of Vice Admiral, having been granted this by the Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

Yesterday’s announcement drew a veil over Andrew’s 43-year association with the UK’s armed forces. However, the prince will retain his honorary rank of Vice Admiral, having been granted this by the Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

The prince, who remained on the Navy’s Active List until 2001, was also Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm and Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth (pictured above)

The prince, who remained on the Navy’s Active List until 2001, was also Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm and Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth (pictured above)

The prince, who remained on the Navy’s Active List until 2001, was also Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm and Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth (pictured above)

The duke held a number of prestigious honorary positions, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – the Army’s most senior regiment

The duke held a number of prestigious honorary positions, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – the Army’s most senior regiment

The duke held a number of prestigious honorary positions, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – the Army’s most senior regiment

Andrew was not expected to play any part in commemorations for the Falklands this summer. 

Last night, a fellow campaign veteran said he was ‘shocked’. 

Rear Admiral Chris Parry, who flew with Andrew, said: ‘This was an unexpected development. He is a former colleague and a veteran, so it is shocking, particularly for those who served in the South Atlantic, that it has come to this.

‘We are also approaching the 40th anniversary of the campaign in which he took part. But at any time one should not speak ill of a comrade.’ 

Having his military titles removed is arguably the ultimate ignominy for Andrew.

The duke held a number of prestigious honorary positions, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – the Army’s most senior regiment.

Last night a former Chief of the General Staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a ‘widespread relief’ across the Army, adding: ‘It was the right move at the right time and undoubtedly senior officers will be breathing a sigh of relief. Her Majesty acted appropriately.’

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, a former Army officer and now chairman of the Commons defence committee, said it was ‘necessary’ to preserve the reputation of the units formally represented by Andrew.

The prince, who remained on the Navy’s Active List until 2001, was also Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth, Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers (2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland) and Colonel-in-Chief of the 9th/12th Lancers, the Royal Irish Regiment, the Small Arms School Corps and the Yorkshire Regiment.

Mr Ellwood said: ‘It was important Prince Andrew’s problems didn’t bleed over into these regiments and units. I think it was necessary to protect these organisations.’

Overseas titles he has also lost are Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment); Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Highland Fusiliers Of Canada; Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own); and Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers (in Nova Scotia, Canada).

Last night a former Chief of the General Staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a ‘widespread relief’ across the Army

Last night a former Chief of the General Staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a ‘widespread relief’ across the Army

Last night a former Chief of the General Staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a ‘widespread relief’ across the Army

Andrew was three years into his military career when he joined the taskforce which sailed 8,000 miles to the South Atlantic following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands.

Andrew was three years into his military career when he joined the taskforce which sailed 8,000 miles to the South Atlantic following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands.

Andrew was three years into his military career when he joined the taskforce which sailed 8,000 miles to the South Atlantic following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands.

The humiliating decision by the Queen came weeks before celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, in which the prince, then 22, served as a helicopter pilot

The humiliating decision by the Queen came weeks before celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, in which the prince, then 22, served as a helicopter pilot

The humiliating decision by the Queen came weeks before celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, in which the prince, then 22, served as a helicopter pilot

Andrew will no longer serve the position of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest and most emblematic regiments in the British Army. He is pictured above in the honourary Colonel's uniform in 2019

Andrew will no longer serve the position of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest and most emblematic regiments in the British Army. He is pictured above in the honourary Colonel's uniform in 2019

Andrew will no longer serve the position of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest and most emblematic regiments in the British Army. He is pictured above in the honourary Colonel’s uniform in 2019

Andrew was three years into his military career when he joined the taskforce which sailed 8,000 miles to the South Atlantic following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands. 

The prospect of the prince being killed in action made Mrs Thatcher’s Government apprehensive and the Cabinet requested he be moved to desk duties.

However, the Queen insisted he should remain on HMS Invincible and play an active role, even if that meant risking his life. He earned his colleagues’ and the nation’s respect. 

Ducking enemy fire in his helicopter proved Andrew’s finest hour. The daring prince manoeuvred his Sea King so it acted as a decoy target to divert Exocet missiles away from ships.

He has also today lost his role as honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth. Andrew is pictured above in RAF regalia in Lossiemouth, Scotland in 2015

He has also today lost his role as honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth. Andrew is pictured above in RAF regalia in Lossiemouth, Scotland in 2015

He has also today lost his role as honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth. Andrew is pictured above in RAF regalia in Lossiemouth, Scotland in 2015

Among Andrew's ceremonial naval titles included Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps. He is pictured in 2007 at Horse Guards Parade to commemorate 25 years since the Falklands War

Among Andrew's ceremonial naval titles included Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps. He is pictured in 2007 at Horse Guards Parade to commemorate 25 years since the Falklands War

Among Andrew’s ceremonial naval titles included Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps. He is pictured in 2007 at Horse Guards Parade to commemorate 25 years since the Falklands War

He also took part in casualty evacuations and anti-submarine warfare and witnessed the deaths of 12 British sailors when Argentine rockets sank the SS Atlantic Conveyor. 

After the victory, Andrew returned a gallant hero – he was also the first member of his family to serve on the frontline since Prince Philip in the Second World War.

Last night, the chairman of the South Atlantic Medal Association, Tom Herring, said the prince had not been an active member of the organisation. 

The Queen’s decision means neither of the Royal Family members who have served their country in wartime retain any formal link with the Armed Forces.

Prince Harry, who served two tours of Afghanistan, relinquished four honorary military titles last year, including Captain General of the Royal Marines.

The Palace had confirmed the Duke’s military appointments were ‘in abeyance’ after he stepped back from public duties in 2019.  

Prince Andrew with the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion

Prince Andrew with the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion

Prince Andrew as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment

Prince Andrew as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment

Buckingham Palace announced the Prince’s military affiliations and royal patronages have all been returned to the Queen. He is pictured in uniform of the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion (left) in 2011, and as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment in 2003 (right)

Prince Andrew in regalia of the 2nd Logistic Battalion in New Zealand. On Thursday, he lost his honourary title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment

Prince Andrew in regalia of the 2nd Logistic Battalion in New Zealand. On Thursday, he lost his honourary title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment

Prince Andrew in regalia of the 2nd Logistic Battalion in New Zealand. On Thursday, he lost his honourary title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment

Andrew served in the Falklands War and started his military career as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot in 1979

Andrew served in the Falklands War and started his military career as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot in 1979

Andrew served in the Falklands War and started his military career as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot in 1979

Duke of York, at the controls of a Warrior tracked armoured vehicle during a visit to the Staffordshire Regiment at Fallingbostel Station barracks in Bad Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany, 10th July 1989. The Duke was Colonel-in-Chief of the Staffordshire Regiment

Duke of York, at the controls of a Warrior tracked armoured vehicle during a visit to the Staffordshire Regiment at Fallingbostel Station barracks in Bad Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany, 10th July 1989. The Duke was Colonel-in-Chief of the Staffordshire Regiment

Duke of York, at the controls of a Warrior tracked armoured vehicle during a visit to the Staffordshire Regiment at Fallingbostel Station barracks in Bad Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany, 10th July 1989. The Duke was Colonel-in-Chief of the Staffordshire Regiment

Prior to today, he still retained the roles, including the position of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest and most emblematic regiments in the British Army.

His other British honorary military titles were: Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment; Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own); and Royal colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  

It comes after more than 150 veterans joined forces to express their outrage, writing to the Queen to demand Andrew was removed from the honorary military positions.

Accusing the duke of bringing the services he is associated with into disrepute, the 152 former members of the Royal Navy, RAF and Army said that ‘were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post’.   

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said it had no comment about the duke’s military titles because it was a matter for the Palace. 

A Royal Navy veteran, Prince Andrew was named the Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps. He is pictured aboard the Indian aircraft carrier INS Viraat in Mumbai, India, in May 2012

A Royal Navy veteran, Prince Andrew was named the Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps. He is pictured aboard the Indian aircraft carrier INS Viraat in Mumbai, India, in May 2012

A Royal Navy veteran, Prince Andrew was named the Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps. He is pictured aboard the Indian aircraft carrier INS Viraat in Mumbai, India, in May 2012

Prince Andrew New Zealand

Prince Andrew New Zealand

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew

The Prince has also lost the honourary roles of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment, pictured in regalia, left, and Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment

The Duke of York was pictured sitting in the back of a Range Rover this morning as he was being driven from his house in Windsor Great Park

A source close to the royal said he would ‘continue to defend himself’ against Ms Giuffre’s allegations following the judge’s decision to dismiss his legal team’s attempt to have the case thrown out.

The source said: ‘Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling. However, it was not a judgement on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations. This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.’   

It came as reports suggested he could avoid a trial by using the sale of his £18million Swiss chalet to try to pay off Ms Giuffre with at least £10million of the proceeds.

MailOnline revealed this week that Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York, settled a £6.6 million debt with a French socialite, paving the way for him to sell his beloved ski chalet to fund his alleged sex abuse case.

Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, sold her house, Chalet Helora, to her then-friends Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 2014 for £18million, would be paid for in instalments. But Ms de Rouvre claimed the Yorks failed to make the final instalment of £5m for the property in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier – but this week the Yorks stumped up the cash, ending the legal battle and clearing the way for a sale.

With the chalet now on the market, the ninth in line to the throne will use up to £10million of the final sale price to settle with Ms Giuffre, according to The Sun, but without admission of liability to her claims she was forced to have sex with him three times when she was 17. He has repeatedly denied the claims. 

Mark Stephens, an expert in constitutional law, has said that Andrew will need to find between £5million and £10million to offer Ms Giuffre and hope she spares him a trial. 

He said: ‘Judge Lewis Kaplan has thrown a reasoned judicial decision like a bomb into the middle and the heart of the royal family and threatens to provoke constitutional crisis as a consequence’.

He said the duke has ‘no good options’, adding: ‘Essentially, I think he’s either going to have to engage in the trial process or he’s going to have to settle and that may well be his least worst option.’ He added: ‘There is a need to limit the damage. Andrew, I suspect will be stripped of his royal titles. A settlement of five or ten million is a good bet but Ms Giuffre may want her day in court.’  

Prince Andrew is now facing the biggest gamble of his life after a judge in the US unequivocally rejected a bid to have his sex abuse case thrown out of court.

All of Prince Andrew’s titles and patronages he has now lost

The Queen has stripped the Duke of York of his honorary military roles and royal patronages, Buckingham Palace announced this evening.

The move is a major blow to Andrew, who is facing a looming civil sexual assault court showdown after a New York judge sensationally ruled yesterday that the case could go ahead.

Andrew’s honorary military titles

United Kingdom

  • Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen; 
  • Colonel of the Grenadier Guards; 
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s); 
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment); 
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Small Arms School Corps; 
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot); 
  • Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland; 
  • Honorary Air Commodore, Royal Air Force Lossiemouth; 
  • Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; 
  • Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps.

Canada

  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment);
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada; 
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers; 
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Airborne Regiment (disbanded).

New Zealand

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.

Andrew’s patronages

  • Alderney Maritime Trust; 
  • Army Officers’ Golfing Society; 
  • Army Rifle Association;
  • Attend (National Association of Hospital and Community Friends); 
  • Berkshire County Cricket Club;
  • British-Kazakh Society; 
  • Commonwealth Golfing Society; 
  • Constructionarium; 
  • Fire Service Sports and Athletics Association; 
  • Fly Navy Heritage Trust; 
  • Foundation for Liver Research; 
  • The Friends of Lakefield College School; 
  • Friends of the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s); 
  • Greenwich Hospital; 
  • Grenadier Guards; 
  • H.M.S. Duke of York Association; 
  • Horris Hill School; 
  • Hunstanton Golf Club; 
  • Interfaith Explorers;
  • Inverness Golf Club; 
  • Killyleagh Yacht Club;
  • Lakefield College School; 
  • Lucifer Golfing Society; 
  • Maimonides Interfaith Foundation; 
  • Maple Bay Yacht Club; 
  • Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta; 
  • Quad-Centenary Club; 
  • Queen’s York Rangers; 
  • Robert T. Jones, Jr. Scholarship Foundation; 
  • Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom; 
  • Royal Aero Club Trust; 
  • Royal Air Force Golfing Society; 
  • Royal Air Force Lossiemouth; 
  • Royal Alberta United Services Institute;
  • Royal Artillery Golfing Society; 
  • Royal Ascot Golf Club; 
  • Royal Belfast Golf Club;
  • Royal Blackheath Golf Club;
  • Royal British Legion Scotland, Inverness Branch; Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club; 
  • Royal County Down Golf Club; 
  • Royal Free Charity; 
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; 
  • Royal Guild of St Sebastian (Royal Guild of Archers of St. Sebastian – Bruges); 
  • The Royal Highland Fusiliers Of Canada; 
  • Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling), 83rd and 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment); 
  • Royal Jersey Golf Club; 
  • Royal Liverpool Golf Club; 
  • Royal Montrose Golf Club; 
  • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital; 
  • Royal Navy Golf Association; 
  • Royal Navy Golfing Society; 
  • Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own); 
  • Royal Norwich Golf Club; 
  • Royal Perth Golfing Society and Country and City Club; 
  • Royal Portrush Golf Club; 
  • Royal St David’s Golf Club; 
  • Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies; 
  • Royal Victoria Yacht Club, British Columbia; 
  • Royal Winchester Golf Club; 
  • Royal Windsor Horse Show; 
  • Ryedale Festival; 
  • SickKids Foundation; 
  • Small Arms School Corps; 
  • Sound Seekers;
  • St Helena National Trust; 
  • Staffordshire Regiment Trust; 
  • STFC Harwell and Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus; 
  • Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club; 
  • The Association of Royal Navy Officers; 
  • The Colonel’s Fund (Grenadier Guards); 
  • The Corporation of Trinity House; 
  • The Duke of York Young Champions’ Trophy; 
  • The Duke of York’s Community Initiative; 
  • The Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School; 
  • The Fleet Air Arm; 
  • The Fleet Air Arm Officers’ Association;
  • The Gordonstoun Association; 
  • The Helicopter Club of Great Britain; 
  • The Honourable Artillery Company; 
  • The Honourable Company of Air Pilots; 
  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn; 
  • The Institution of Civil Engineers; 
  • The Ladder Foundation; 
  • The Northern Meeting; 
  • The Omani Britain Friendship Association (OBFA); 
  • The Princess Louise Fusiliers; 
  • The Returned & Services League of Australia Limited;
  • The Royal Air Squadron; 
  • The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League; 
  • The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust;
  • The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland;
  • The Royal Household Golf Club; 
  • The Royal Institute of Navigation; 
  • The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own);
  • The Royal Regiment of Scotland; 
  • The Royal Society; 
  • The Royal Thames Yacht Club; 
  • The South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA 82); 
  • The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights;
  • University of Cambridge Judge Business School; 
  • Wellington Academy; 
  • Wellington College International Tianjin;
  • Westminster Academy; 
  • Yorkshire Society
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