Virginia Giuffre hails court ruling allowing Andrew's civil sex case to proceed

Virginia Giuffre has vowed a court ruling that will allow her to pursue her civil case against the Duke of York in court.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Wednesday dismissed a motion by the Duke’s attorneys to dismiss the lawsuit after they argued Ms Giuffre waived her right to prosecute the King by reaching a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein had signed.

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

She tweeted that she was “pleased” with the verdict, adding, “I’m glad I’ll have the chance to continue uncovering the truth and I’m deeply grateful to my extraordinary legal team.

“Your determination helps me seek justice for those who have hurt me and so many others. My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law and should be held accountable.

“I am not walking this journey alone, but with countless other survivors of sexual abuse and human trafficking.”

It comes after the Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles and he abandoned his use of HRH style in a dramatic fallout from the civil sex case.

Andrew, who was born HRH, will not use it in any official capacity, a royal source said, and the Duke has also had his remaining royal patronages stripped.

The decision represents the Duke’s complete removal from official royal life and an attempt to distance the monarchy from Andrew, who was once second in line to the throne, replacing the heir in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

It paves the way for Andrew to seek an out-of-court settlement with Ms Giuffre without fear that his decision – which is likely to be viewed negatively by the public – will be linked to the royal family.

Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the Duke when she was 17 and a minor under US law.

The Duke has vehemently denied the allegations.

A royal source said the issue had been discussed at length within the royal family, making it likely that the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge were locked in crisis talks over the matter.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday: “With the Queen’s approval and consent, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen.

“The Duke of York will continue to refrain from public duties and is defending this case as a private individual.”

The decision is believed to have been made by mutual agreement between the Queen and her son, but the final decision would have fallen to the monarch and would have been a difficult one.

As a former Royal Navy officer who served in the Falklands War, Andrew will feel the loss of his connection with the military units and regiments, the most respected of which is a Colonel in the Grenadier Guards.

The source said the military posts would be reallocated to other members of the royal family.

But Andrew will retain his rank of Vice Admiral and his role as Councilor of State, to be filled by a monarch’s wife and the next four adults in the line of succession.

It’s not clear what impact the decision will have on the level of security offered to the Duke after his status is reduced.

The Queen is the head of the Armed Forces and has been gifted honorary military posts.

The Palace previously said the Duke’s military appointments were in limbo after he resigned from public duties in 2019 following his disastrous Newsnight interview.

But for now he kept the roles that the eight British regiments left in limbo more than two years later.

A source close to the Duke said he would “continue to defend himself” against Ms Giuffre’s allegations after the judge ruled to dismiss his legal team’s attempt to dismiss the case.

The source said: “Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan welcomed our arguments, we are not surprised by the ruling.

“However, it was not a verdict 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’s other British honorary military roles were: Honorary Air Commander at RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel of the Royal Irish Regiment; Small Arms School Corps Colonel; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland; Deputy Colonel, Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own); and Colonel-in-Chief of the Yorkshire Regiment.

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