9 News Australia: Prince Andrew's future 'hangs in balance'
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The Duke of York is facing questions over his royal title as he battles a civil sex lawsuit in the US. Virginia Giuffre is suing Andrew for alleged sexual assault when she was a teenager. The Queen’s son denies the allegations.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said Andrew may be asked to stop using his HRH title like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were when they quit royal duties.
Mr Fitzwilliams told The Sun: “If he’s going to step down from all royal links permanently, as Meghan and Harry have, then you look at the situation where they kept the HRH and didn’t use it.
“They’ve set the precedent in that sense.
“That may apply if he were to lose this case or were to be perceived to lose this case.
“What might happen to Andrew is a form of ‘internal exile’, where he might, for example, manage the royal estates or something similar.
“He would lose his remaining links with charities and his military links.
“In a worst-case scenario, if he were to lose the civil case against him, it might be agreed that he would keep his HRH but would not use it.”
Mr Fitzwilliams’ comments come after reports that royal courtiers have discussed plans to ask Andrew to stop using his title if he loses the lawsuit.
The Sunday Times cited a source familiar with the talks as saying: “If he loses the case, the question is: what do you do with him?
“You can’t make him resign like you would a normal person but he would be asked to put his dukedom into abeyance.
“Andrew is still patron of a heck of a lot of charities and they would have to go as well.
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“He couldn’t go abroad because of the risk of extradition so there would have to be a form of internal exile.
“He would need to scale back on his housing.”
Harry and Meghan were not stripped of their titles when they quit as working royals in March 2020.
But as part of the Megxit deal, the couple agreed to stop using their HRH styles as they pursue new lives of personal and financial freedom across the pond.
Speculation over Andrew’s title comes as he is waiting for a US judge to make a decision on whether the civil sex assault case against him will be dismissed after his lawyer argued that a settlement agreement Ms Guiffre made with Jeffrey Epstein ended her right to pursue anyone else.
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