Prince Andrew remains a Vice Admiral, Palace says – and he's still in line to the throne despite losing use of HRH

Prince Andrew remains a vice admiral, Buckingham Palace has said – despite having his honorary military posts revoked.

The Duke of York also remains in the line of succession.

Virginia Giuffre is suing the Duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her as a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked into sex with Andrew by the Duke’s friend, convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, when she was 17 and a minor under US law.

The Duke has vehemently denied the allegations.

In the letter to the Queen released on Thursday, veterans described their “anger and anger” at Andrew retaining the titles and saying his position was “unsustainable”.

They made a heartfelt request and said, “Please don’t leave it any longer.”

They added that “it would be unthinkable that he would still be in office if it were another senior military officer.”

Buckingham Palace released a statement later that same day saying the Duke’s military affiliations and royal patronage had been returned to the Queen.

The Duke will also no longer use his HRH style in an official capacity.

However, Andrew retains his military rank of vice admiral, the palace confirmed.

A former member of the Armed Forces, the Duke, who served in the Royal Navy, was promoted by convention in line with his still-serving peers and was appointed Vice-Admiral by the Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

He was due to be promoted to admiral on his 60th birthday in 2020 but asked for this to be postponed after retiring from public office.

Andrew remains in line of succession and as such is still Councilor of State.

In the event that the Queen is temporarily unable to perform her official duties as sovereign due to illness or absence abroad, two or more Councilors of State are appointed by Letters Patent to act in her stead.

The role of Council of State is filled by each of the monarch’s spouses and the next four adults in the line of succession, currently the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York.

One of the army veterans who called on the Queen to remove the Duke of York’s honorary military posts welcomed the decision to strip him of the posts, saying: “I’m just glad he’s no longer associated with the military is.”

Lieutenant Stuart Hunt, who served in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, branded the affair “a messy business” and said the Duke had discredited the armed forces.

He suggested that the matter should have been resolved at least two years ago, and Andrew should then have made the decision himself to resign.

Lt Hunt, who served in Northern Ireland in the early 1990s, was one of 152 former Army, RAF and Royal Navy personnel who signed the open letter to the monarch urging her to remove Andrew’s honorary post in the military, while the Duke faces a civil trial on sexual assault charges.

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