The military title of Prince Andrew, the third son of British Queen Elizabeth II, has been revoked. In addition, Prince Andrew will not use his royal title officially.
Buckingham Palace made the announcement after a U.S. court heard a case of sexual harassment against Prince Andrew.
According to Buckingham Palace sources, the 81-year-old Prince Andrew will no longer officially use his royal title, His Royal Highness. However, Prince Andrew has denied allegations of sexual harassment against him from the beginning.
A source close to Prince Andrew said the Duke of York would "continue to defend" the case against a woman named Virginia Giuffre in a New York court.
Giuffre of Virginia is now 38 years old. She filed a lawsuit in New York in August last year under the state's Child Victims Act.
Giuffre alleges in court documents filed against Prince Andrew that she was sexually assaulted by Prince Andrew after being sexually trafficked through the late billionaire Epstein.
Virginia also complained that she had been sexually harassed by more powerful men than Prince Andrew.
In the lawsuit, Virginia claims that Epstein trafficked her to have sex with Prince Andrew. Virginia was 17 at the time.
Virginia alleges Duke sexually assaulted her three times in the United Kingdom and in the United States. And at the time of those incidents, Virginia was a minor under U.S. law.
However, a source in the British royal family insisted that the case was taken into account by a US judge last Wednesday, but that it was "not based on Virginia's allegations."
Buckingham Palace said in a statement that the Duke of York's military involvement and royal title had been revoked with the Queen's approval.
The statement added that "the Duke of York (from now on) will not hold any royal office and will fight the case as an ordinary citizen."
The palace source further said that the issue of Prince Andrew has been widely discussed in the royal family.
A spokesman for the British Ministry of Defense said they had no comment on the return of Prince Andrew's military titles to the Queen and that it was a matter for the palace.
Earlier on Thursday, an anti-monarchist group called "Republic" released a letter signed by more than 150 former members of the Royal Navy, RAF, and Army, urging the Queen to withdraw her eight British military titles from Prince Andrew.