(Despite Prince Harry being stripped of his titles earlier this year.)
Andrew, the Duke of York, took a step back from public duties in 2019 following a controversial Newsnight interview regarding his involvement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
A person of interest in the US investigation into the Epstein allegations, the Duke is now also facing a civil lawsuit in New York, after longtime accuser Virginia Giuffre sued him for alleged sexual abuse and assault.
But despite this, according to a new report in The Sunday Times, the Queen has “let it be known” that she wants Prince Andrew to keep his honorary military role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards.
“The Queen has let it be known to the regiment that she wants the Duke of York to remain as colonel and the feeling is that nobody wants to do anything that could cause upset to the colonel-in-chief,” military sources told the paper. “It is a very difficult, unsatisfactory situation.”
Like Prince Harry, who stood down from his role as a senior working royal to relocate to California in search of a quieter life, Andrew no longer carries out his public duties. But unlike the Duke of Sussex, he has not been forced to give up his military titles – something some critics have derided as hypocritical.
“His position is not tenable or viable,” a source told The Sunday Times. “How can you have a colonel who can’t perform the role? For the brief time he was in post, he was a good colonel, but the feeling across the regiment is that it’s not appropriate to retain him. You can’t have a colonel who can’t do public duties.”
Saying it was “past time for him to be held to account”, Giuffre brought a civil suit seeking unspecified damages against the duke at a New York federal court earlier this month.
Allegations in the civil suit claim Giuffre was “lent out for sexual purposes” by Epstein, including while still a minor under US law. The documents claim that the duke engaged in sexual acts without Giuffre’s consent, while aware of her age and while “knowing that she was a sex-trafficking victim”.
The lawsuit says: “In this country no person, whether president or prince, is above the law, and no person, no matter how powerless or vulnerable, can be deprived of the law’s protection.
“Twenty years ago Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
Prince Andrew strenuously denies all allegations made against him, and has been spotted attending crisis talks with the Queen at Balmoral.