Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled yesterday that Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew, in which she alleges he raped her after being sex-trafficked to him by the dead rapist pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the convicted sex criminal Ghislaine Maxwell, can proceed. Andrew’s legal team was pushing to have the case dismissed; Judge Kaplan has denied that request. This doesn’t mean that his decision makes any final call on the “truth or falsity” of her claims, only that the case can go to trial where evidence can be heard. One of Virginia’s lawyers, David Boies, said that she “looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims". Their position is that they want Virginia’s story to be challenged in court and hope that it will stand up to it. Andrew, meanwhile, well, wanted to avoid court at considerable cost… and now he’ll have to defend himself.
Earlier this week we found out how he’s going to pay for the lawsuit and now breaking news from Buckingham Palace, while he may not necessarily lose the lawsuit, he has lost his valuables, what he considers to be most precious: his titles. Per the BBC:
“The Duke of York's military titles and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced. Prince Andrew will also stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity, a royal source added. The duke's roles will be distributed among members of the Royal Family.”
Among members of the British royal family, it’s Andrew who has the biggest reputation of being up his own ass with these titles, and the “do you know who I am" thing. They all love being royal but Andrew loves it the most so losing his HRH, well, this probably hurts. A lot. Because those titles were all he had left. At this point he has nowhere to go to have the HRH in use, since he’s basically been in social quarantine since November of 2019 after that shambolic interview on BBC Newsnight…except… ummmm… if he goes to court. And if he shows up in that courtroom to defend himself against Virginia’s accusation, he’s going in there with no titles. Which is probably why this happened. Specifically because the “HRH” is so important to the British royals, so treasured, so esteemed, they don’t want it dragged into a courtroom where the case is about whether or not the Queen’s son raped a girl when she was 17-years-old. Because can you imagine Virginia’s lawyers, every other sentence, in their opening statements being all like, “HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ANDREW sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre and participated in the dead rapist pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation. We will prove that HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ANDREW did in fact rape Virginia. We will show photos and phone call logs and videos (whatever evidence) that HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ANDREW knew that Epstein was a sex-trafficker and a rapist”. They would have dragged that HRH through some sh-t.
So my point is, the royal institution had no choice with this one. The decision to strip Andrew of his titles isn’t about the Queen finally putting her foot down on her mess of a kid. The fact that they waited until Judge Kaplan made his ruling tells you that they were actually hoping that Judge Kaplan would rule in Andrew’s favour so he could keep his titles. And if that happened, we wouldn’t be talking about Andrew’s titles today because they would be intact.
So, no, let’s not give anyone any flowers here for doing the right thing. It was their only move. And stripping him of his titles doesn’t mean the Queen won’t be supporting him in whatever way she can. Behind the scenes, he’ll get all the assists that they can possibly come up with. And if by chance she’s still around when the trial happens and he actually does win the case, there’s no saying she won’t return his titles to him either. She has the authority.
For now, though, a judge in New York City has forced the royal hand.