What next for Andrew with military roles, patronages and Platinum Jubilee?

The Duke of York is being sued by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.

The Duke of York with the royal family
The Duke of York with the royal family

With the Duke of York facing the prospect of a court showdown in a sexual assault civil trial, questions have been raised again over his military roles and his future in the royal family in the Platinum Jubilee year.

Andrew remains Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – one of the most senior infantry regiments in the British Army – despite calls from more than 150 veterans for the Queen to remove his eight British military appointments.

His other British honorary titles are: Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment; Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own); and Royal colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

75th Anniversary of the liberation of Bruges
The Duke of York in his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He also has several overseas honorary roles still listed on the monarchy’s website: Colonel-in-chief of the Queen’s York Rangers; Colonel-in-chief of The Royal Highland Fusiliers Of Canada; Colonel-in-chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own); and Colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers (in Nova Scotia, Canada).

Buckingham Palace refused to comment but previously said the duke’s military roles were in abeyance.

Although the positions are temporarily inactive, Andrew retains them.

In August, it was reported the Queen, who is Colonel in Chief of the Grenadier Guards and head of the armed forces, told insiders she wanted her son to remain as colonel of the regiment – an honour he took over from his father the Duke of Edinburgh.

“The feeling is that nobody wants to do anything that could cause upset to the colonel-in-chief. It is a very difficult, unsatisfactory situation,” a military source told the Sunday Times.

In November 2019 after the duke stepped down from public duties, a Palace spokeswoman said of his then-230 patronages: “He will be stepping back from public duty and temporarily standing back from all his patronages.”

Duke of York Pitch@Palace event
The Duke of York (Steve Parsons/PA)

More than 90 organisations still appear on the official website in the list of the duke’s charities and patronages.

One – The Foundation for Liver Research, of which Andrew was patron – said the duke was no longer its patron and the position had been left empty.

Charities rushed to distance themselves from the Queen’s second son after his disastrous Newsnight appearance about his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

2022 is meant to be a year of celebration for the Windsors, with the Queen less than a month away from reaching her Platinum Jubilee and the nation’s festivities for the historic occasion set for June.

Diamond Jubilee celebrations
The Duke of York visiting a Big Jubilee Lunch at All Saints Church, Fulham, as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 (Matt Grayson/Fulham Chronicle/PA)

Andrew has already quit public duties, and was not even pictured in the publicly released photographs marking his daughter Princess Beatrice’s wedding last year.

This makes it almost inconceivable he would appear on the Palace balcony or play any part in the Jubilee commemorations such as the pop concert, street parties or the grand-scale pageant.

Covid disrupted the past two Trooping the Colour parades, meaning the duke’s potential attendance in his role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards or his absence were not an issue.

This year, Trooping the Colour forms part of the four-day Jubilee weekend.

With a civil sexual assault trial looming, Andrew is unlikely to be asked by the military to take part, leaving questions as to who will perform the ceremonial duties required.

Virginia Giuffre is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

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 strenuously denied the allegations.

The royal family is also set to gather for a thanksgiving service in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh in the spring.

The Westminster Abbey event, which may be televised, has the complication of being a family occasion for the Windsors and a public one for organisations Philip worked with during his decades of royal duty.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on whether Andrew would attend.

Questions are also being asked as to whether he could lose his Duke of York title or HRH style, depending on the outcome of the case.

His mother gifted him the dukedom on his wedding day and is unlikely to remove it at this stage if at any, and he was born a prince and a HRH.

Royal titles and styles can be removed if the Queen issues a Letters Patent ordering such a change, or Andrew could potentially stop using his HRH style but still retain it, just like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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