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FeaturesThe Yorks

The Royal Family washes its hands of Prince Andrew saying he is a “private citizen” and can no longer use HRH title

Stephen Lock/I-Images

Buckingham Palace released an extraordinary statement on Thursday evening in which it completely washed its hands of the Duke of York, saying he was a “private citizen.”

The 42-word bulletin settled the contentious issue of Prince Andrew’s status within the family, with it being confirmed that The Queen has removed the 61-year-old of his HRH status.

He has also lost his association to all of his patronages, with the 95-year-old monarch assuming responsibility for his former charitable links.

Any honorary military titles he was afforded have also been stripped.

The Buckingham Palace statement read: “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

The last few words of the statement about Andrew being a private citizen is key – the Palace will no longer speak for him.

The Duke is facing a civil trial in the United States over allegations of sexual assault after a judge rejected his arguments to have the case thrown out.

Andrew is accused by Virginia Giuffre of sexually assaulting her when she was seventeen years old – something he has always strenuously denied.

It is understood that other members of The Royal Family will now take on Prince Andrew’s former patronages.