Queen strips Prince Andrew of patronages and he will no longer be called HRH

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Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military affiliations and Royal patronages with the Queen's approval amid the looming Virginia Giuffre sex case.

The Palace said in a statement on Thursday night: "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."

He will no longer use the style "His Royal Highness" in any official capacity, a royal source added.

He will be facing a civil trial over sexual assault allegations, which he vehemently denies.

It comes as Andrew's sex abuse scandal has left the Queen "heartbroken" according to Royal experts and palace insiders.

They say accusations the Prince sexually abused a 17-year-old girl has plunged the Monarchy into its worst ever crisis, and will ruin this year's Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Princes Charles and William are both reported to be furious with Andrew after a judge in New York ruled the Prince – once termed Randy Andy – can be taken to civil court over accusations he abused Ms Giuffre three times in 2001.

Andrew has always vehemently denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

Tonight 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 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."

Royal Watcher Angela Levin told Sky News earlier: "The Queen must be heartbroken that Andrew, said to be her favourite child, has let her down in this way when she should really be getting excited for the Platinum Jubilee.

"The problem is the court case has to be prepared for during the summer months. He can't win in any way – certainly not in public opinion which is very important to the Royal Family."

Royal expert Chris Ship told Good Morning Britain: "From what I hear, his immediate family – Sarah Ferguson, his two daughters – are behind him.

"But other members of the Royal family very much are not and are wanting to try and end this in whatever way they can in terms of the damage for the wider institution.

"The support he has amongst the wider family is very, very thin on the ground indeed."

Royal observer Phil Dampier told The Sun Online Prince Andrew could try to settle the case out of court, and it is claimed he recently sold his luxury chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, for around £17million to help bankroll his legal costs.

However, he said paying an alleged sex abuse victim to stay silent would still be a PR disaster for the Royal family.

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