Top Army chiefs want ‘toxic’ Prince Andrew to quit his nine military roles


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Senior military chiefs privately labelled Prince Andrew as ‘toxic’ and it is expected he will do the decent thing and resign as top brass hope he will spare the Queen

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Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in sex trafficking trial

Prince Andrew is under ­pressure to give up his nine ­military roles, according to ­defence sources.

Top brass are hoping he will resign so the Queen is not forced to strip him of his honorary titles.

The disclosure comes after senior military chiefs privately labelled Andrew, 61, as “toxic”.

Defence sources have told the Sunday People that the Army’s most senior commanders believe it is now impossible for the Duke of York to continue in his role as colonel-in-chief of nine military regiments, units and corps.

His close friendship with sex predators Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell has been described by senior defence sources as “untenable”.

Andrew faces losing honorary titles after claims over Epstein links
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High ranking Andrew in Royal Navy uniform
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Although any decision on the prince’s titles to be withdrawn will come from the Queen and Buckingham Palace officials, there will be no objection from the armed forces, defence sources confirmed.

The move would be another devastating blow for the Queen, who was reluctantly forced to strip grandson Prince Harry of his honorary military titles because he had given up royal duties.

One former defence chief said the duke’s association with the armed forces is now effectively over and the only question being discussed is how best to manage the crisis from a “presentational viewpoint”.

One source said he fully expected an announcement from Buckingham Palace that Andrew would be permanently standing down from all royal duties and would be resigning his honorary military titles.

Virginia with ex-boyfriend Anthony in 2001

One former defence chief said the duke’s only glimmer of hope is that the civil case being brought against him by Virginia Giuffre fails.

Giuffre, 38, is suing the Queen’s son in New York for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by billionaire financier Epstein to have sex with the duke.

Virginia was 17 when she was pictured with Andrew, then 41, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Maxwell’s London home. Andrew strongly denies all allegations.

With the Queen at a flypast in 2019
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The former defence chief said: “If the case succeeds he must go and that is the correct decision.” Other senior officers claim that Andrew’s reputation is now so badly damaged by the sex abuse allegations and his friendship with Epstein and Maxwell that he could never again attend a military ceremony.

Maxwell, 60, is in jail in New York awaiting sentence after being found guilty this week of procuring under-age girls for sex with Epstein.

The financier 66, was found dead in his New York cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex charges.

One senior source said: “Even if Andrew is completely exonerated from any wrongdoing he is now regarded as toxic. It is expected he will do the decent thing and resign.”

2001 pic of the Duke and Virginia
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The duke, who had a 21-year active career in the Royal Navy and served in the 1982 Falklands war, currently holds the honorary rank of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. He is also Colonel-in-chief of the 9/12th Royal Lancers, the Royal Irish Regiment, the Yorkshire Regiment, the Small Arms School Corps, and Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers.

Plus he is Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth, Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm and Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps.

The protocol surrounding honorary titles means the decision to remove him resides with the Queen and not with the armed forces.

It is the Queen who makes the appointments and only she can withdraw them, as she did when she ruled Harry should lose his military titles. Although defence chiefs can make their views on Andrew retaining his military titles known to Buckingham Palace, it is not within their remit to demand the prince resigns.

One former senior member of the Royal Irish Regiment said: “The role of Colonel-in-chief is extremely important and the Royal Irish take it very seriously.

“The prince is expected to attend ceremonies and parades, which he has done in the past.

“He has always taken a keen interest in the regiment and has wanted to be kept abreast of events, including any ­issues which he felt that he might be able to help with.

“But he is now regarded as toxic and an embarrassment. He is so badly damaged that there is no way back and the best thing he can do now is give up all of his military titles and permanently sever his links with the armed forces.”

The Ministry of Defence and the Palace declined to comment.




www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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