Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Overnight Queen Elizabeth II stripped Prince Andrew of his royal and military titles after a New York judge ruled to prevent the Royal’s lawyers from blocking a sexual assault lawsuit on Wednesday. The Duke of York will face civil court at a later date.

According to a royal source for New York Post, Andrew will no longer use the title “His Royal Highness” in an official capacity while his military titles including vice admiral of the Royal Navy and honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards were also taken.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement today: “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.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 08: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen’s annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019. Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The 61-year-old is being sued by Virginia Giuffre for sexual assault while she was under the age of 18. Within the lawsuit she alleges that Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced her to engage in sexual activity with the Queen’s second son. Attorneys for Andrew attempted to block the lawsuit this week arguing that a $500,000 USD settlement between Guiffre and Epstein in 2009 meant he could not be sued.

Buckingham Palace initially refused to comment on the court proceedings, telling The Independent, “We would not comment on what is an ongoing legal matter.’’

It comes after close friend and accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five counts of aiding Epstein in the trafficking of teenage girls for sexual abuse between 1994 and 2004, in late December. The jury deliberated for five days. She is yet to be sentenced.

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