York council member wants Prince Andrew to lose Duke of York title

The Duke of York should lose the title linking him to the Yorkshire city, it was claimed today after the Queen stripped him of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style in a huge fallout from his civil sex case.

Darryl Smalley, a senior member of City of York Council, has begun a campaign to strip Prince Andrew of his title after a judge in New York threw out the Duke’s motion to dismiss the case two days and ruled it can go to trial.

And Security Minister Damian Hinds refused to confirm whether taxpayers would still fund Andrew’s security, saying only that police would ‘do what they judge is necessary to protect our country, to protect people in it’.

Andrew, who was born an HRH, will not use it any official capacity, and has also been stripped of his remaining royal patronages in a decision which represents the 61-year-old’s complete removal from official royal life.

The dramatic move is also being seen as an attempt to distance the monarchy from Andrew, who was once second in line to the throne as the spare to the heir, in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Mr Smalley has begun a campaign to strip Prince Andrew of his title

Darryl Smalley (left), a senior member of City of York Council, has begun a campaign to strip Prince Andrew of his title (right)

The Queen stripped Prince Andrew (pictured in September 2019) of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style

The Queen stripped Prince Andrew (pictured in September 2019) of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style 

Calls have been made for the Duke of York to lose the title linking him to the Yorkshire city (York Minster is pictured)

Calls have been made for the Duke of York to lose the title linking him to the Yorkshire city (York Minster is pictured)

Mr Smalley, Liberal Democrat executive member for culture, leisure and communities at City of York Council, said: ‘York’s unique connection to the crown and the monarch is an important part of our city’s legacy, history and a great source of pride.

‘No-one is above the law and all allegations should rightly be fully investigated, particularly following the recent distressing court cases. We stand with all victims, whose harrowing stories have shocked us all in recent months.

Titles and patronages Prince Andrew has lost

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.


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; 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 Elizabeths’ 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.

‘Whilst Prince Andrew remains innocent until proven guilty, Buckingham Palace and the Government must consider the implications of these troubling allegations moving forward.

‘Having been stripped of his military roles and royal patronages by the Queen, he should also now relinquish his title as Duke of York.’

Even after being restricted from his duties, Andrew as a senior royal had been given round-the-clock Scotland Yard protection at an annual cost of £2million to the taxpayer.

And Mr Hinds told LBC this morning: ‘Our security forces, the police and others, do what they judge is necessary to protect our country, to protect people in it.’

He said it was a ‘long-standing – and I think correct – principle that we don’t talk about who and how in particular’.

When pushed, Mr Hinds said: ‘I know this is going to come across to you possibly, and possibly to some listeners, like me obfuscating and avoiding the question, and I suppose maybe even in some ways it is avoiding the question, but only because it is right to say that the police and our wider security forces do what is right and proportionate to protect the people of this country.’

Retired chief superintendent Dai Davies said last night that a decision on whether to continue providing protection for Andrew will be based on the threat level he faces.

‘Whether [or not] he continues to use his titles, he remains the Queen’s son,’ Mr Davies added. ‘Whether or not he is still afforded specialist protection will be based entirely around how serious intelligence suggests the threat level will be.’

Mr Davies, who led the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection unit, explained: ‘If the threat level is low, then like junior royals and his own daughters he will have to fund protection himself.’

Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice received official protection until 2011 but now foot the bill themselves, probably with some help from their father.

The threat level is determined by Home Office advisers, the Queen’s private security and a specialist committee, Mr Davies said.

It is likely that, in the short term, Prince Andrew’s protection will continue, he added. ‘Clearly now he is open to all kinds of vilification given he is very much in the limelight and has been accused of some serious things, so they will have to be careful,’ Mr Davies said.

‘I think they will be very cautious until there has been a very thorough assessment and he will remain protected at least in the short term. There are very strong feelings about him at the moment and suggestions he did not tell the truth, so that threat is there.’

A spokesman from Scotland Yard said the force does not discuss matters of protection.

The full cost of royal security is kept from the public as Scotland Yard argues it would compromise safety. But it is believed to cost taxpayers well in excess of £125million a year.

Meanwhile, the decision to strip Andrew of his titles paves the way for him to seek an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre without the fear of his decision – likely to be viewed unfavourably by the public – being associated with the royal family.

The development comes after more than 150 veterans joined forces to express their outrage, writing to the Queen to demand the duke’s removal from the honorary military positions.

A royal source said the issue had been widely discussed with the royal family, making it likely that the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge were involved in crisis talks over the matter.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement yesterday: ‘With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.

‘The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.’

It is understood the decision was taken by mutual agreement between the Queen and her son but the ultimate decision would have fallen to the monarch and been a difficult one.

As a former Royal Navy officer who served in the Falklands War the loss of his association with the military units and regiments, the most prestigious being Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, will be keenly felt by Andrew.

The source said the military posts would be redistributed to other members of the royal family.

But Andrew will keep his rank of Vice Admiral and his role of Counsellor of State, undertaken by the spouse of a monarch and the next four adults in the line of succession. 

Prince Andrew is driven from Royal Lodge to meet his mother at Windsor Castle yesterday. On the right is lawyer Gary Bloxsome

Prince Andrew, centre, is driven from Royal Lodge to meet his mother at Windsor Castle yesterday. On the right is lawyer Gary Bloxsome 

Buckingham Palace said in yesterday that his 'military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen'

Buckingham Palace said in yesterday that his ‘military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen’

It is not clear what effect the decision will have on the level of security provided for the duke now his status has been reduced.

Andrew becomes fifth royal to lose HRH title in 26 years 

His or Her Royal Highness is a title applied to some members of the Royal Family dating back to the 17th century, used to denote superiority for some ruling members over others.

Today, it signals a divide between those in the Royal Family engaged in active service to the monarchy and those who lead more private lives.

It is often conferred to the children and grandchildren of the monarch by letters patent and is typically associated with the rank of prince or princess.

Prince Andrew is the fifth royal to stop using the Royal Highness title in 26 years. Diana, Princess of Wales, was stripped of her HRH title following her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

It was apparently proposed by Prince Philip that Diana should also be downgraded to Duchess of Cornwall – but he eventually accepted the view of courtiers that, as the mother of the future King William, Diana should retain the rank of Princess.

The Duchess of York lost her HRH title when she and Andrew divorced in 1996, by which time the couple had already been separated for four years.

The Queen ordered Harry and Meghan not to use their HRH status following the couple’s decision to ‘step back’ as senior royals in January 2020. They now style themselves Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, in their commercial dealings.

Like Harry and Meghan, Andrew retains his title but will not use it in any official capacity.

Edward VIII kept his HRH style after he abdicated in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. His brother George VI decreed that Edward ‘having been born in the lineal succession to the Crown’ should be ‘entitled to hold and enjoy for himself only the style title or attribute of Royal Highness’.

Mrs Simpson became the Duchess of Windsor, but was never permitted to adopt the style HRH.

The Queen is head of the armed forces and honorary military appointments are in her gift.

The Palace said previously that the duke’s military appointments were in abeyance after he stepped down from public duties in 2019 after his disastrous Newsnight interview.

But until now he still retained the roles, which left the eight British regiments in limbo more than two years on.

Ms Giuffre is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s friend Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke when she was 17 and a minor under US law.

The duke has strenuously denied the allegations.

A source close to the duke 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 judgment 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.’

Andrew’s other British honorary military roles 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, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland; Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own); and Colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment.

Royal commentator Peter Hunt, writing in the Spectator, said: ‘This is what a sacking looks like when you’re ninth in line to the British throne. No more appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony, riding horseback during Trooping the Colour, or laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

‘Henceforth, he’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York: the non-royal royal. His only sliver of consolation is that he hasn’t been stripped of being a Knight of the Garter. Yet.’


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