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Prince Andrew's military affiliations and royal patronages handed back to the Queen amid court case

The Duke of York is facing a civil sex case trial

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Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Duke of York has been stripped of his military titles and will not return to public duties, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. 

The statement released on Thursday evening 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."

A royal source also says Prince Andrew, 61, will no longer use the style 'His Royal Highness' in any official capacity.

READ: Prince Andrew pictured for the first time since ruling on US civil sex assault case

WATCH: Prince Andrew civil case - what happens next? 

It comes after the Duke was pictured for the first time since a New York judge made a ruling on Wednesday on the civil lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre.

Andrew was seen being driven in a Range Rover from his Windsor home, Royal Lodge, on Thursday.

US Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed a notion by Prince Andrew's lawyers to have the civil case thrown out after they argued Ms. Giuffre had waived her right to pursue the Duke by signing a confidential settlement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

It now means the Duke will face a civil sex case trial. 

RELATED: Prince Andrew can be sued by Virginia Giuffre for sexual assault, says court

MORE: Prince Andrew served with civil lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre

prince andrew and the queen races© Photo: Getty Images

Andrew's royal patronages have been returned to the Queen

In the conclusion of his written ruling, Judge Kaplan said: "For the foregoing reasons, defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects. Given the court's limited task of ruling on this motion, nothing in this opinion or previously in these proceedings properly may be construed as indicating a view with respect to the truth of the charges or countercharges or as to the intention of the parties in entering into the 2009 Agreement."

Ms. Giuffre is suing the Duke for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.

prince andrew driven windsor© Photo: Rex

The Duke pictured being driven out of Windsor on Thursday

She claims she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

The Duke has denied all allegations.

A source close to the Duke said he would "continue to defend himself" against Ms Giuffre’s allegations following the judge's decision to dismiss his legal team's attempt to have the case thrown out.

The source said: "Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling. However, it was not a judgement on the merits of Ms Giuffre's allegations. This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims."

Andrew stepped back from public duties in November 2019, following his TV interview with BBC Newsnight, which focused on his connections to Epstein. 

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