Prince Andrew’s social media accounts have been deleted or made private after the Queen stripped him of his military titles.
The Duke of York‘s Twitter account @TheDukeofYork is thought to have been deleted this week and now leads to a blank page that reads: “This account doesn’t exist”.
His YouTube channel is no longer searchable and his Instagram page @hrhthedukeofyork is also now private, but with ‘HRH’ still included in the handle.
The duke’s Facebook account is still active, but there have been no posts since 20 November 2019 when the statement was made about him stepping back from public life.
Last week, following a US judge’s decision to allow Virginia Giuffre’s civil sex assault case against him to proceed, Buckingham Palace announced Andrew would have his military titles and patronages removed.
He will also no longer style himself as His Royal Highness – HRH.
The statement read: “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.”
This now appears on the Royal Family’s website, which previously only referred to his November 2019 statement.
The section on ‘Supporting the Queen’ now reads in the past tense: “An important part of the Duke of York’s role was to support the Queen’s work as head of state.”
William and Charles silent
Both Prince William and Prince Charles refused to comment when asked about Prince Andrew by Sky News this week.
Andrew, 61, is being sued by Ms Giuffre, 38, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, in a civil case in New York.
She alleges that she suffered “sexual assault and battery” at the hands of the duke on three occasions when she was a teenager and that she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, the late disgraced financier, to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.
The duke has consistently denied any allegations against him and is not facing any criminal action in the US or the UK.
Legislation in New York allows victims of alleged child abuse to bring cases far beyond the usual time limit for prosecution.
What’s happened in the case so far?
So far, each side has called for two witnesses.
Andrew’s legal team has summoned Ms Giuffre’s husband and psychologist to testify about her mental health and claims she could suffer “false memories”. This has been heavily criticised by Ms Giuffre’s legal team.
Meanwhile Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have called on a former assistant of the prince’s and a woman who claims to have seen the pair together in Tramp nightclub in London on the day of one of the alleged assaults in 2001.
Andrew told BBC Newsnight that he was at a Pizza Express in Woking with his daughter on the evening in question and slept at home.
Ms Giuffre claims there were two other occasions – at Epstein’s mansion in New York and on his private island Little St James.