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Prince Andrew’s social media accounts deleted as he fights US lawsuit

20 Jan 2022 By theguardian

Prince Andrew’s social media accounts deleted as he fights US lawsuit

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The Duke of York's social media accounts are being deleted as he continues his legal battle to fight a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him in the US.

Last week the Queen stripped her second son of his honorary military affiliations and royal patronages, and he agreed not to use his royal style HRH in any official capacity.

Prince Andrew's official Twitter handle, TheDukeOfYork, now leads to a blank page. His YouTube page is also no longer accessible. While his Instagram account, hrhthedukeofyork, still appeared on Wednesday, it is understood that that too is being removed, along with his Facebook account, but some accounts are taking longer to filter through.

Royal aides have also updated the British monarchy's official website as Buckingham Palace seeks to distance the institution from Andrew's legal battle.

While the prince still appears under the section titled Members of the Royal Family, the list of his military affiliations and patronages has been removed. Buckingham Palace announced last week that the roles would be shared out among other members of the royal family. The decision was made after discussion between senior family members.

The website also includes details of the Queen's statement, reading: "In January 2022, Buckingham Palace made a statement announcing that, with the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen, and the Duke will continue to not carry out public duties."

Under the heading Supporting the Queen, Andrew's official duties are listed in the past tense, such as attending trooping the colour and his diamond jubilee tour to India on behalf of the monarch. The website states: "An important part of the Duke of York's role was to support the Queen's work as head of state."

Virginia Giuffre, 38, is suing Andrew, 61, in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. She claims she was trafficked by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted paedophile, to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law. Andrew has denied the allegations.

The Duke of Cambridge made no response when he was asked whether he backed his uncle on Wednesday. Prince William was leaving the Foundling Museum in London with the Duchess of Cambridge when a member of a TV news crew asked: "Do you support Prince Andrew?" William leaned closer to hear and then walked past without commenting.

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