He was the king who gave up everything for love – the man who turned away from the English throne to marry the woman he wanted.
King Edward VIII opted to abdicate in 1936 after less than a year on the throne so he could make American divorcee Wallis Simpson his wife.
After he stepped down, he was made the Duke of Windsor by his brother – the new King George VI.
More importantly, he was allowed to keep the title of His Royal Highness – despite calls from some ministers that he should be forced to be known as Mr Windsor.
But King George decided that, ‘having been born in the lineal succession to the Crown’, his predecessor should be ‘entitled to hold and enjoy for himself only the style title or attribute of Royal Highness’.
By contrast, Prince Andrew – the great-nephew of Edward – was yesterday ordered by his mother the Queen to drop his HRH moniker and she also stripped him of all his military titles and patronages.
A brutal Buckingham Palace statement said he would ‘no longer be known as His Royal Highness ‘in any official capacity’ as his family forced him to fight accuser Virginia Roberts’s sex abuse claims as a private citizen.
He became the fifth royal to stop using the title in 26 years – after Princess Diana was stripped of it following her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996; Sarah Ferguson lost hers when she and Andrew divorced the same year; and the Queen ordered Prince Harry and his wife Meghan not to use their HRH status following their decision to ‘step back’ as senior royals in January 2020.
After ceasing to be King, Edward would go on to enjoy a life of luxury with Wallis, who, although she became his wife, was barred from ever holding her own HRH title.
The Duke held on to the title even as he was severely criticised for meeting with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1937 and later praising him as the ‘right and logical leader of the German people’.
The Duke was also known to supplement his generous financial allowance with illegal currency trading.
He was the king who gave up everything for love – the man who turned away from the English throne to marry the woman he wanted
King Edward VIII opted to abdicate in 1936 after less than a year on the throne so he could make American divorcee Wallis Simpson his wife. Above: The couple pose together for the cover of LIFE Magazine in 1950
After abdicating, Edward was allowed by his brother (pictured left in 1950) to keep the title of His Royal Highness – despite fierce suggestions from some government ministers at the time that he should be forced to be known as Mr Windsor. But King George decided that, ‘having been born in the lineal succession to the Crown’, his predecessor should be ‘entitled to hold and enjoy for himself only the style title or attribute of Royal Highness’. Right: Edward’s letter of abdication
By contrast, Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Windsor Castle with his lawyer Gary Bloxsome – the great-nephew of Edward – was yesterday ordered by his mother the Queen to drop his HRH moniker and also stripped him of all his military titles and patronages. A brutal Buckingham Palace statement said he would ‘no longer be known as His Royal Highness ‘in any official capacity’ as his family forced him to fight accuser Virginia Roberts’s sex abuse claims as a private citizen
Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII: A scandal that rocked a nation
January 1931 – Wallis meets Prince Edward in January 1931, after being introduced via her friend Lady Furness
1931- 1934 – The American divorcee and the heir to the throne see each other regularly at various parties
August 1934 – Wallis admits she and Edward are no longer just friends, after joining him on a cruise
January 1936 – King George V dies. Edward asks Wallis to watch the proclamation of his accession with him from St. James’s Palace
August 1936 – The pair enjoy a cruise around the Adriatic sea with friends. Details of their relationship appear in the American press
December 11, 1936 – Edward announces his abdication
June 3, 1937 – The couple get married in the south of France. Wallis was formally known as the Duchess of Windsor, but was not allowed to share her husband’s title of ‘Royal Highness.’
Edward’s relationship with Wallis, who had been twice married before her union with him, was a scandal when news first emerged of it.
His proposition to marry her – whilst divorce proceedings with her second husband were still ongoing – sparked a constitutional crisis which culminated in Edward’s decision to abdicate.
It also destroyed his relationship with his mother Queen Mary, brother, and sister-in-law Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother.
After a short period of exile, the Duke had hoped to return to live in Britain but was not allowed to do so, with the King threatening to cut off his allowance if he tried to come back without invitation.
Much like Prince Andrew, who is reliant on handouts from his mother to maintain his lifestyle, the Duke needed the money given by his brother to support himself and Wallis.
And a bust-up over the Royal Family’s desire for Edward not to be mentioned in any press announcement as being one of the donors to the King George V memorial at Windsor Castle led to the Duke sending a furious letter to his mother.
He told her in 1939 that her correspondence over the issue had ‘destroy[ed] the last vestige of feeling I had left for you all as a family’, adding that it had made ‘further normal correspondence between us impossible’.
Whilst the King had issued Letters Patent to ensure that his brother keep the HRH title, he further strained relations by stating in the legal document that ‘his wife and descendants, if any, shall not hold said title or attribute.’
At the time, in April 1937, legal officials including Attorney General Sir Donald Somervell issued a memo to the Home Secretary in which they said that, following his abdication, the Duke could ‘not have claimed the right to be described as a Royal Highness.’
They added: ‘In other words, no reasonable objection could have been taken if the King had decided that his exclusion from the lineal succession excluded him from the right to this title as conferred by the existing Letters Patent.’
Edward’s proposal to marry Wallis – whilst divorce proceedings with her second husband were still ongoing – sparked a constitutional crisis which culminated in Edward’s decision to abdicate. Pictured: The couple on the day of their wedding in 1937
The Daily Mail’s coverage on December 11, 1936, reported King Edward’s speech in which he announced his decision to abdicate. The newspaper reported how the former king had ‘renounced the Throne and all his titles and will leave the country to-night’
Which royals have lost their HRH titles?
His or Her Royal Highness is a title applied to some members of the Royal Family dating back to the 17th century, used to denote superiority for some ruling members over others.
Today, it signals a divide between those in the Royal Family engaged in active service to the monarchy and those who lead more private lives.
It is often conferred to the children and grandchildren of the monarch by letters patent and is typically associated with the rank of prince or princess.
Prince Andrew is the fifth royal to stop using the Royal Highness title in 26 years. Below, we explain each case.
Andrew was stripped by his mother this week of the ability to use his HRH title and also had all his military affiliations and royal patronages taken away after a US judge ruled he would have to face his accuser Virginia Roberts in court.
In a move that caused huge controversy at the time, Princess Diana was stripped of her HRH title following her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
The law was changed via a Letters Patent to order that any royal wives would lose their HRH status after divorce.
The Duchess of York lost her HRH title the same year as Princess Diana, when she and Prince Andrew divorced.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
The Queen ordered Harry and Meghan not to use their HRH status following the couple’s decision to ‘step back’ as senior royals in January 2020.
They now style themselves Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, in their commercial dealings.
Issuing their advice about Wallis’s status, they said: ‘The right to use this style or title, in our view, is within the prerogative of His Majesty and he has the power to regulate it by Letters Patent generally or in particular circumstances.’
To supplement his income, Edward also penned his memoirs in 1951 with the help of a ghost writer.
The book, called A King’s Story: The Memoirs of HRH the Duke of Windsor, became a bestseller.
Edward talked about his ‘lonely’ time as King, his ‘strict’ childhood and how he felt that he was in ‘unconscious rebellion against my position’.
The closing words of the tome centred around his decision to give up the throne so he could marry Ms Simpson.
He spoke of how ‘love had triumphed over politics’ and that although it proved to be his ‘fate’ to ‘sacrifice my cherished British heritage’, he drew comfort that the decision had ‘long since sanctified a true and faithful union’.
In 1937, Edward’s reputation took a further dive when he travelled to Germany to meet Hitler, who had been in power since 1937.
Whilst there, he was infamously photographed giving a Nazi salute and later also toured industrial facilities and even a concentration camp, whose guard towers were said to have been explained to him as meat stores.
The former king was reported to have said as late as 1941 that Hitler was the ‘right and logical leader of the German people’.
After the Second World War began in 1939, Edward and Wallis fled France following the Nazis’ invasion of the country.
They at first went to Spain and then moved to Portugal.
But after accusations that he was a Nazi sympathiser, he was appointed the Governor of the Bahamas amid fears that Hitler might try to re-install Edward as King of England if he were to successfully invade the British mainland.
He remained in the role until 1945. When asked in an interview with the BBC’s Kenneth Harris in 1970 if he would have liked to have had another job afterwards, he said he ‘offered my services’ but was never handed a new role.
Asked why that was, he replied, ‘You’d have to ask…. Most of the people, I’m afraid, are underground now who prevented me. Oh, I don’t know, it is hard to say.’
Instead, he and Wallis spent the rest of their lives living between their Paris home the US, whilst also enjoying numerous holidays and parties.
The Duke’s health deteriorated in the 1960s and towards the end of 1971, the Duke – a smoker – was diagnosed with throat cancer.
Netflix’s The Crown depicted how, in May 1972 – ten days before his death – Edward was visited by the Queen and Prince Philip.
She spoke to him alone before appearing with just the Duchess for a photograph. The Duke died on May 28, less than a month before his 78th birthday.
The Duke held on to the title even as he was severely criticised for meeting with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1937. Above: The couple meeting Hitler
The former king was reported to have said as late as 1941 that Hitler was the ‘right and logical leader of the German people’. Above: Edward and Wallis with Hitler during their 1937 visit to Germany
After the Second World War, Edward and Wallis spent most of their time socialising and traveling between their Paris home and the US. Pictured: The pair arriving in Britain in 1967 for a visit as guests of the Queen
After the war, the Duke and Duchess returned to their home in France and spent much of their time hosting parties and travelling between Paris and New York. Pictured: The Duke relaxing after playing a round of golf in Spain in 1963
To supplement his income, Edward also penned his memoirs in 1951 with the help of a ghost writer. The book, called A King’s Story: The Memoirs of HRH the Duke of Windsor, became a bestseller. Above: The Duke posing with the first edition of his memoirs
His body was returned to Britain, where it lay in state at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel before his funeral.
In Buckingham Palace’s brutal two-line statement issued on Thursday, Edward’s relative Prince Andrew was told he had been stripped of his remaining royal honour amid Miss Roberts’ accusations.
It read: ‘With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
‘The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.’
Andrew was summoned for a 90-minute meeting with his mother at Windsor Castle, whilst his personal lawyer, Gary Bloxsome, was barred from entering the building.
Her Majesty stripped her favourite son of his HRH title along with a series of honorary military titles.
He will still be known as the Duke of York and maintains the rank of Vice Admiral in the Navy, which was handed to him in 2015 after he retired from the service in 2001.
The Duke remains determined to clear his name after Miss Roberts accused him of rape.
She claims to have been trafficked and ‘lent out’ by Andrew’s friends, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his then girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted last month of procuring underage girls for Epstein to abuse.
Prince Charles ignores question on Prince Andrew – 24 hours after he and son Prince William urged the Queen to strip shamed Duke of his titles and exile him from Royal family to fight US sex assault case as a ‘private citizen’
Prince Charles today brushed off questions about his exile brother Andrew amid claims he was instrumental in stripping him of his HRH and his military titles.
The Prince of Wales refused to speak about the crisis engulfing the Windsors caused by the Duke of York’s friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein and accusations he had sex with one of his ‘slaves’.
The heir to the throne, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, was asked Andrew while visiting the Haddo Country Park, Ellon, Aberdeenshire. Sky News correspondent James Matthews asked: ‘Can I ask your view on your brother’s position?’.
But Charles wouldn’t be drawn, instead speaking to individuals impacted by the devastation caused by Storm Arwen in late November.
Charles and his son William are understood to have been ‘instrumental’ in the move to force him out before the Queen made up her mind on Wednesday, straight after the court verdict in New York opened up a trial for Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
In a brutal two-line statement Buckingham Palace also forced him to drop his HRH title and dashed his hopes of resuming public duties. It said the ninth in line to the throne would be defending his United States sex abuse case ‘as a private citizen’.
Prince Charles laughs in Aberdeenshire today as he surveyed storm damage from before Christmas
The Prince of Wales (centre), known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, during his visit to Haddo Country Park, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, to view the devastation caused by Storm Arwen
Charles was meeting people locally who supported local communities in the aftermath
Charles, who was said to be instrumental in the decision to make Andrew a ‘private citizen’, declined to comment on the crisis
The Queen last night cast Prince Andrew out of the Royal Family, stripping him of all his military titles and patronages
In a brutal two-line statement Buckingham Palace also forced him to drop his HRH title and dashed his hopes of resuming public duties
Buckingham Palace said in a statement this afternoon, which read: ‘With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen’
Prince Andrew’s titles and patronages
The Queen has stripped the Duke of York of his honorary military roles and royal patronages, Buckingham Palace announced this evening.
The move is a major blow to Andrew, who is facing a looming civil sexual assault court showdown after a New York judge sensationally ruled yesterday that the case could go ahead.
Andrew’s honorary military titles
Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen; Colonel of the Grenadier Guards; Colonel-in-Chief of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s); Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment); Colonel-in-Chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Colonel-in-Chief of the Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot); Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland; Honorary Air Commodore, Royal Air Force Lossiemouth; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps.
Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment); Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada; Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers; Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Airborne Regiment (disbanded).
Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.
Alderney Maritime Trust; Army Officers’ Golfing Society; Army Rifle Association; Attend (National Association of Hospital and Community Friends); Berkshire County Cricket Club; British-Kazakh Society; Commonwealth Golfing Society; Constructionarium; Fire Service Sports and Athletics Association; Fly Navy Heritage Trust; Foundation for Liver Research; The Friends of Lakefield College School; Friends of the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s); Greenwich Hospital; Grenadier Guards; H.M.S. Duke of York Association; Horris Hill School; Hunstanton Golf Club; Interfaith Explorers; Inverness Golf Club; Killyleagh Yacht Club; Lakefield College School; Lucifer Golfing Society; Maimonides Interfaith Foundation; Maple Bay Yacht Club; Maple Bay Yacht Club; Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta; Quad-Centenary Club; Queen’s York Rangers; Robert T. Jones, Jr. Scholarship Foundation; Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom; Royal Aero Club Trust; Royal Air Force Golfing Society; Royal Air Force Lossiemouth; Royal Alberta United Services Institute; Royal Artillery Golfing Society; Royal Ascot Golf Club; Royal Belfast Golf Club; Royal Blackheath Golf Club; Royal British Legion Scotland, Inverness Branch; Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club; Royal County Down Golf Club; Royal Free Charity; Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Guild of St Sebastian (Royal Guild of Archers of St. Sebastian – Bruges); The Royal Highland Fusiliers Of Canada; Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling), 83rd and 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment); Royal Jersey Golf Club; Royal Liverpool Golf Club; Royal Montrose Golf Club; Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital; Royal Navy Golf Association; Royal Navy Golfing Society; Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own); Royal Norwich Golf Club; Royal Perth Golfing Society and Country and City Club; Royal Portrush Golf Club; Royal St David’s Golf Club; Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies; Royal Victoria Yacht Club, British Columbia; Royal Winchester Golf Club; Royal Windsor Horse Show; Ryedale Festival; SickKids Foundation; Small Arms School Corps; Sound Seekers; St Helena National Trust; Staffordshire Regiment Trust; STFC Harwell and Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus; Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club; The Association of Royal Navy Officers; The Colonel’s Fund (Grenadier Guards); The Corporation of Trinity House; The Duke of York Young Champions’ Trophy; The Duke of York’s Community Initiative; The Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School; The Fleet Air Arm; The Fleet Air Arm Officers’ Association; The Gordonstoun Association; The Helicopter Club of Great Britain; The Honourable Artillery Company; The Honourable Company of Air Pilots; The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn; The Institution of Civil Engineers; The Ladder Foundation; The Northern Meeting; The Omani Britain Friendship Association (OBFA); The Princess Louise Fusiliers; The Returned & Services League of Australia Limited; The Royal Air Squadron; The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League; The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust; The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland; The Royal Household Golf Club; The Royal Institute of Navigation; The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own); The Royal Regiment of Scotland; The Royal Society; The Royal Thames Yacht Club; The South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA 82); The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights; University of Cambridge Judge Business School; Wellington Academy; Wellington College International Tianjin; Westminster Academy; Yorkshire Society.
Between 500,000 and one million trees were uprooted on the Haddo Estate in Aberdeenshire at the end of November as winds of up to 100mph hit the area.
Efforts to clear the once-dense woodlands of fallen trees ahead of replanting have only just begun.
Charles spoke to landscape manager Oliver Deeming and head of visitor services Susanna Atkinson as he walked the “Scots Mile” road towards the National Trust for Scotland property at the centre of the estate, Haddo House.
At the house, the prince met representatives from Aberdeenshire Council, the police and power provider SSEN to hear about the impact of Storm Arwen and the state of recovery efforts.
The country park is currently closed to visitors for safety reasons due to the storm damage.
A local resident said Charles’s visit was the first day for some time that the sound of chainsaws was not ringing out around the area.
Palace sources said the ‘ruthless and swift’ decision had been ‘widely discussed’ within the Royal Family following Andrew’s failed bid to persuade a judge to dismiss the civil lawsuit in which he is accused of having sex with a trafficking victim.
‘This is about the survival of the institution at all costs. Always has been and always will be,’ a senior palace source said. In its statement the palace declared: ‘With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
‘The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.’
Andrew was yesterday summoned for a 90-minute meeting with his mother at Windsor Castle – and was accompanied by his personal lawyer, Gary Bloxsome, who drove with him from his nearby home, Royal Lodge.
But Mr Bloxsome, who was employed by the prince to orchestrate his fight back against Virginia Roberts’ allegations of rape and sexual assault, was unable to enter the royal residence and was left sitting in the car, castle insiders revealed.
The decision to remove Andrew’s remaining titles and bar him from using his HRH title represents his complete removal from official royal life and will be seen as an attempt to distance the monarchy once and for all from his legal woes.
The duke now faces a jury trial in the autumn over Miss Roberts’ claims, which he has consistently denied. It is believed that discussions among family members have been going on for several weeks as Andrew’s attempts to derail the case were repeatedly shot down. Prince Charles has spoken to his mother by phone from Scotland, where he is in residence, following the judgment against his brother in a New York court.
Prince William was at Windsor Castle on Wednesday to conduct an investiture on behalf of his grandmother and would have spoken to her personally as well.
A well-placed palace source said the Queen and her advisers had decided to follow ‘the same model’ of effective banishment with Andrew as she had with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
‘They have taken this decision to insulate the institution from being hit by all the shrapnel that is flying around,’ they added.
‘It follows the same model as the Sussex separation. The removal of titles and patronages means the institution can now legitimately say it is not involved.
‘It was a ruthless and swift decision which will have been recommended by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge and sanctioned by the Queen.’
Other sources said the decision would have ‘pained’ the Queen enormously, given Andrew’s position as her so-called favourite son.
But just as with Harry and Meghan, the 95-year-old monarch would have known she needed to act for the sake of the monarchy and her legacy.
‘She has the ability, when push comes to shove, to know what is best for the institution and will act in her role as head of state, not a mother,’ said another source who knows her well. ‘She loves Andrew and this doesn’t mean he is no longer her son. But a decision had to be made as it was overshadowing everything the family did and her forthcoming platinum jubilee. Everyone will be feeling very relieved he has finally been cut adrift. It may even help him to have more clarity in fighting the case.’
The beleaguered prince, 61, was last night keen to make clear that his battle to clear his name and restore his reputation was not over. A source close to the duke said his legal team were ‘unsurprised’ by the judge’s decision not to throw the sex case out given last week’s bruising hearing in New York, during which he was openly dismissive of their argument to dismiss the suit.
They added: ‘This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.’
Another source said they would continue to pursue every legal avenue before the claims got to trial, saying: ‘We are still at very early stages of this case.’ Miss Roberts, 38, who now uses her married name Giuffre, claims she was forced to sleep with the prince three times in 2001, when she was 17. She says she was trafficked and ‘lent out’ by his friends, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his then girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted last month of procuring underage girls for Esptein to abuse.
Breaking her silence after the judge’s verdict, she wrote on Twitter early on Friday morning: ‘I’m pleased with Judge Kaplan’s ruling yesterday that allows my case against Prince Andrew to go forward. I’m glad I will have the chance to continue to expose the truth & I am deeply grateful to my extraordinary legal team.
‘Their determination helps me seek justice from those who hurt me and so many others. My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law & must be held accountable.
‘I do not walk this path alone, but alongside countless other survivors of sexual abuse & trafficking.’
Following his disastrous Newsnight interview in 2019, Andrew was forced by the Queen, Charles and William to step down from official duties. But he was allowed to keep a dozen military affiliations, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – a position inherited from his father the Duke of Edinburgh – and dozens of charitable patronages went into ‘abeyance’ while he worked to clear his name. Many of those organisations chose to desert him anyway, but some, mostly in the military, had no choice but to keep the prince in position because it was only in the Queen’s gift, as head of the Armed Forces, to take them away.
There was a sense of widespread relief last night that the decision had finally been taken for them. A royal source said the military posts would be ‘redistributed’ to other members of the Royal Family. But as a former Royal Navy officer who served with distinction in the Falklands, Andrew will be allowed to retain his military rank of vice admiral.
The Mail has also been told that Andrew will, for now, remain a member of the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious order of chivalry, which is also in the gift of the Queen. However it is unlikely that the prince will take part in the annual procession at Windsor Castle in June.
Like Harry and Meghan before him, Andrew will no longer be able to use the style ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity, although he has not officially been stripped of it.
But the humiliation of the move will be lost on no one. It is not clear how he intends to style himself but he most likely will simply be called the Duke of York.
It is not clear yet whether Andrew will lose his round-the-clock Scotland Yard bodyguards, which he had retained despite stepping back from official duties. Harry and Meghan were forced to relinquish theirs, but that was as much because they had chosen to move abroad.
Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie had their bodyguards taken away from them when they decided not to take on royal duties.
Prince Andrew (pictured left in military uniform) was today stripped of his military honours by the Queen (right). He will also no longer be allowed to use the honorific ‘HRH’ in official capacity
Virginia Roberts Giuffre broke her silence after the judge’s ruling on Wednesday to say she will ‘continue to expose the truth’
The Duke of York will be digesting the implications of the judge’s refusal to throw out his sex assault lawsuit
How solicitor ‘Good News’ Gary was forced to wait in castle car park
His influence on the Duke of York is such that solicitor Gary Bloxsome is said to have found himself in an ‘inner circle of one’.
Yet few could have predicted that Prince Andrew would insist on taking Mr Bloxsome to yesterday’s summit with the Queen.
The Mail can reveal that Mr Bloxsome, 48, accompanied the prince as he was driven from his Royal Lodge property in Windsor Great Park to meet his 95-year-old mother at Windsor Castle.
Gary Bloxsome accompanied Andrew to the Windsor summit
Mr Bloxsome’s involvement may indicate that the prince was aware of the seriousness of the unprecedented royal clash and had been taking legal advice. Or Mr Bloxsome could have been there intending to help Andrew explain to Her Majesty the machinations of his New York sex case.
However, it is understood that he was ultimately denied entry to the castle and instead had to wait outside in the car park during the 90-minute meeting.
The lawyer, of London law firm Blackfords, is reportedly nicknamed ‘Good News Gary’ by detractors because of his insistence on only presenting the prince with the best case scenario.
He is now believed to be the prince’s closest adviser after his former private secretary Amanda Thirsk agreed to quit in 2020 when Andrew was forced to step back from royal duties over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Mr Bloxsome is thought to have been appointed by Andrew in January 2020 to help with the potential legal fallout from his friendship with Epstein, including any potential FBI or Scotland Yard investigation.
He has previously represented footballers facing charges over nightclub brawls and in 2019 defended former Tory party treasurer Simon Day when he was acquitted of election fraud.
Legal biographies say Mr Bloxsome specialises in helping ‘ultra-high-net worth individuals in international jurisdictions’.
The prince is also being advised by Clare Montgomery QC, who battled to save Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from extradition after he was accused of human rights abuses. Other clients have included Shrien Dewani, who was charged with murdering his wife in South Africa in 2010 and was later acquitted.
Last year, she represented a former paratrooper accused of murdering an IRA commander in Belfast in 1972. The veteran, known as Soldier A, walked free when the trial collapsed.
A number of royal experts and commentators have said today’s decision is the strongest possible signal the Queen could send to her second son.
Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt wrote in The Spectator: ‘This is what a sacking looks like when you’re ninth in line to the British throne.
‘Prince Andrew has been well and truly cut adrift. By his only family.
‘From birth, he was styled His Royal Highness. He will go to his grave unencumbered by it. The removal of the style HRH, at the age of 61, will hurt a son of the Queen who doesn’t wear his royal status lightly.’
Meanwhile Dickie Arbiter, a former assistant press secretary at the palace, told The Times that the Queen would be ‘very sad’ about the decision to strip her son of his titles.
He added: ‘But she is pragmatic. It is about protecting the interests of the institution. Andrew now is really out in the cold.’
Tobias Ellwood MP, the chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, said he welcomed the removal of Andrew’s military titles.
He told the BBC’s Newcast podcast: ‘Prince Andrew already had stepped back from many of his public duties – I think all of them, as well – so I think this was anticipated, indeed it was expected, from this perspective, so I’m actually not surprised.’
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said it had no comment about the duke’s military titles because it was a matter for the Palace.
Former BBC Royal Correspondent Jenny Bond said: ‘Clearly pressure has been exerted on him, and pressure on the Queen was growing for some action because of the disquiet within the military, and people beginning to say ‘we don’t want to toast his health’ at the end of regimental dinners.
‘With the court procedures the way they are in the United States, this is going to roll on and on probably well into next year, thus overshadowing the Queen’s platinum jubilee year so that, I think, will be very much up in Prince Andrew’s mind.’
One of the Army veterans who called on the Queen to remove the Duke of York’s honorary military roles has welcomed the decision to strip him of the posts, saying: ‘I’m just glad he’s not associated with the military now.’
Lieutenant Stuart Hunt, who served in The 1st Royal Tank Regiment, branded the matter an ‘unsavoury business’ and said the duke had brought the armed forces into disrepute.
He suggested the matter should have been resolved at least two years ago, and Andrew should have taken the decision himself to stand down then.
Lt Hunt, who served in Northern Ireland in the early 1990s, was one of 152 former Army, RAF and Royal Navy personnel who signed an open letter to the monarch urging her to remove Andrew’s honorary military posts while the duke faces a civil sexual assault trial.
Lt Hunt told the PA news agency: ‘It’s an unsavoury business… I’m just glad he’s not associated with the military now.
‘I’m pleased although it should have happened two years ago or in fact longer when he was taking his little trips out to play golf in St Andrews.’
He lambasted Andrew as ‘not fit to serve’ in an honorary rank and said he lacked any form of credibility as an effective leader.
The 52-year-old, who trained to be an officer at Sandhurst, said: ‘Whether he’s guilty or not, he has brought things into disrepute… He’s not fit to serve in an honorary rank. He has forgone that right by getting into this sort of situation.’
The finance director, who lives in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, added: ‘A better man would have stood down whether innocent or guilty for the sake of the organisation… It’s repugnant really.’
Andrew will retain his military rank of Vice Admiral, the Palace confirmed.
As a former member of the armed forces, the duke, who served in the Royal Navy, was by convention promoted in line with his still-serving peers and made 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 to defer this after stepping down from public duties.
Prince Andrew wearing the uniform of the Colonel of the Grenadier Guards during Trooping The Colour, London 2018
Prince Andrew will no longer be able to use his military title as Honorary Air Commodore, Royal Air Force Lossiemouth. He is pictured with personnel in Lossiemouth, Scotland in 2015
The Duke’s military title ‘Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusilier’ has also been taken from him. Pictured: Prince Andrew watches soldiers from the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion in May 2011
‘I will fight on’: Prince Andrew strikes defiant tone after being stripped of his titles
Defiant Prince Andrew will fight against his sex abuse lawsuit after the double blow of a judge refusing to dismiss the case and the Queen stripping him of his titles.
The Duke of York will no longer be known as His Royal Highness ‘in any official capacity’, it was announced today after a judge proceeded with the rape and sexual assault case against Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Today, a source close to the royal said he would continue to fight the allegations.
The source said: ‘Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling.
‘However, it was not a judgement 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.’
Despite pleas for Andrew to ‘do the right thing for the Queen’ and offer his accuser millions to avoid a trial, the duke appeared to be digging in for the long haul.
Royal author Penny Junor questioned whether the Queen should have insisted the titles and patronages be returned sooner: ‘I think it was a huge embarrassment that retired serving military personnel were demanding that titles be removed.
‘That just becomes embarrassing and it becomes damaging to the Queen because the Queen is then seen as protecting her son.’
She added: ‘I don’t know if the Queen was too slow to take them back or whether it lies with Andrew who was too slow to offer them back.
‘But either way I think actually a bit of criticism has to fall on the Queen here, because if Andrew was not offering them up she, or her advisers should have seen that this was going to cause a problem and should have insisted that she take them back.’
A stern-faced Prince Andrew broke his cover in Windsor this morning, with the duke seen seen sitting in the back of his £80,000 Range Rover while being driven from his home in Windsor Great Park.
Today, a source close to the royal said he would ‘continue to defend himself’ against Ms Giuffre’s allegations following the judge’s decision to dismiss his legal team’s attempt to have the case thrown out.
The source said: ‘Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling. However, it was not a judgement 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.’
It came as reports suggested he could avoid a trial by using the sale of his £18million Swiss chalet to try to pay off Ms Giuffre with at least £10million of the proceeds.
MailOnline revealed this week that Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York, settled a £6.6 million debt with a French socialite, paving the way for him to sell his beloved ski chalet to fund his alleged sex abuse case.
A Royal Navy veteran, Prince Andrew was named the Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps. He is pictured aboard the Indian aircraft carrier INS Viraat in Mumbai, India, in May 2012
The Prince has also lost the honourary roles of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment, pictured in regalia, left, and Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment (pictured right)
Prince Andrew may have to fund his own security after being stripped of his title, warns former head of royal protection
The Duke of York may eventually have to fund his own security, a former head of royal protection said last night.
Even after being restricted from his duties, Prince Andrew as a senior royal had been given round-the-clock Scotland Yard protection at an annual cost of £2million to the taxpayer.
A decision on whether to continue providing protection will be based on the threat level he faces, retired Chief Superintendent Dai Davies said.
‘Whether [or not] he continues to use his titles, he remains the Queen’s son,’ Mr Davies added. ‘Whether or not he is still afforded specialist protection will be based entirely around how serious intelligence suggests the threat level will be.’
Mr Davies, who led the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection unit, explained: ‘If the threat level is low, then like junior royals and his own daughters he will have to fund protection himself.’
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice received official protection until 2011 but now foot the bill themselves, probably with some help from their father.
The threat level is determined by Home Office advisers, the Queen’s private security and a specialist committee, Mr Davies said.
It is likely that, in the short term, Prince Andrew’s protection will continue, he added.
‘Clearly now he is open to all kinds of vilification given he is very much in the limelight and has been accused of some serious things, so they will have to be careful,’ Mr Davies said.
‘I think they will be very cautious until there has been a very thorough assessment and he will remain protected at least in the short term. There are very strong feelings about him at the moment and suggestions he did not tell the truth, so that threat is there.’
A spokesman from Scotland Yard said the force does not discuss matters of protection.
The full cost of royal security is kept from the public as Scotland Yard argues it would compromise safety. But it is believed to cost taxpayers well in excess of £125million a year.
Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, sold her house, Chalet Helora, to her then-friends Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 2014 for £18million, would be paid for in instalments. But Ms de Rouvre claimed the Yorks failed to make the final instalment of £5m for the property in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier – but this week the Yorks stumped up the cash, ending the legal battle and clearing the way for a sale.
With the chalet now on the market, the ninth in line to the throne will use up to £10million of the final sale price to settle with Ms Giuffre, according to The Sun, but without admission of liability to her claims she was forced to have sex with him three times when she was 17. He has repeatedly denied the claims.
Mark Stephens, an expert in constitutional law, has said that Andrew will need to find between £5million and £10million to offer Ms Giuffre and hope she spares him a trial.
He said: ‘Judge Lewis Kaplan has thrown a reasoned judicial decision like a bomb into the middle and the heart of the royal family and threatens to provoke constitutional crisis as a consequence’.
He said the duke has ‘no good options’, adding: ‘Essentially, I think he’s either going to have to engage in the trial process or he’s going to have to settle and that may well be his least worst option.’ He added: ‘There is a need to limit the damage. Andrew, I suspect will be stripped of his royal titles. A settlement of five or ten million is a good bet but Ms Giuffre may want her day in court.’
Prince Andrew is now facing the biggest gamble of his life after a judge in the US unequivocally rejected a bid to have his sex abuse case thrown out of court.
Last night, the royal’s lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic were locked in crisis talks after their motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Roberts was ‘denied in all respects’, meaning the case is now heading towards an unedifying trial this autumn.
The duke’s team now have a stark choice, legal experts said. They can either take the risk to press ahead and attempt to clear his name by going in front of a jury, which means Andrew would face the humiliation of having to give public testimony against lurid allegations of rape and sexual assault on oath.
Or he could try to persuade Miss Roberts to accept a multi-million pound settlement in order to avoid further damaging the reputation of the monarchy – but have the stain of the proceedings remain with him forever.
However, her New York attorney David Boies last night indicated that his client was determined to go to trial, saying: ‘She wants to achieve justice’, but added that while she is determined to go to trial, ‘settlement is always a possibility’.
99 out of 100 civil cases settle out of court in the United States.
Mr Boies added that his team will seek to ‘depose between ten to 12 people’, and admitted this could include Fergie, Beatrice and Eugenie.
If he chooses not to settle, or if Ms Giuffre rejects any offers, Andrew faces a trial and being interviewed by her lawyers in a videotaped deposition in London that could be played in court, although the ninth in line to the throne cannot be forced to give evidence due to it being a civil suit in a different legal jurisdiction.
Additionally, he could simply ignore the case and let the court give a decision in his absence, although this would be likely to damage his reputation further.
One former US federal prosecutor said: ‘This is a very, very bad day for Prince Andrew.’
Mitchell Epner told Sky News: ‘There are only bad options in front of him and he has to decide which of these bad options is his best bad option.’
The pressure for Andrew to settle out of court and spare the Queen the ignominy of a sordid public trial was growing last night as he was warned he was in ‘the last chance saloon with the towels over the taps’.
Today, reports suggested he could avoid a trial by using the sale of his £18million Swiss chalet to try to pay off Virginia Roberts Giuffre with at least £10million of the proceeds
Last night, Prince Andrew’s lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic were locked in crisis talks after their motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Roberts (pictured middle) was ‘denied in all respects’, meaning the case is now heading towards an unedifying trial this autumn
Andrew bought the seven-bedroom Chalet Helora, in the luxury Swiss resort of Verbier with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 2014 for £16.6million. He is now believed to be selling it to fund the court case, or settle with Ms Giuffre
Prince Andrew is pictured in 2001 with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their children in Verbier, Switzerland. Ms Giuffre’s lawyers admit they could call all of them to give evidence
The front page of a 46 page ruling from Judge Lewis A Kaplan that the Duke of York will face a civil sex case trial over allegations he sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was 17
Lawyers for Prince Andrew’s accuser have demanded the unsealing of ‘vast swathes of information’ about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Lawyers for Prince Andrew’s accuser have demanded the unsealing of ‘vast swathes of information’ about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Attorneys for Virginia Giuffre said that Judge Loretta Preska should make public material from a civil lawsuit she filed against Maxwell relating to eight anonymous John Does.
The individuals were identified in court documents only as ‘Non-Parties 17, 53, 54, 55, 56, 73, 93 and 151’ – it is not clear if one of them is the Duke of York.
The request was opposed by John Doe 17 who complained that being associated with the case would cause him ‘annoyance and embarrassment,’ the legal filings state.
Another John Doe, number 151, claimed that they were ‘trying to live a private life’ and that disclosure meant they would be ‘hounded’ by the media.
The request came on the day that Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Giuffre’s battery lawsuit against Andrew, a separate case also filed at the federal court in New York, can move forward.
Should Judge Preska unseal the documents in her case they could shed new light on the Duke’s dealings with Maxwell and Epstein.
Andrew’s £2,000-an-hour legal team were last night locked in talks amid the ‘biggest constitutional crisis in living memory’, and believe that the key could be his chalet in Verbier, according to The Sun.
There has been speculation that the Queen could be bankrolling the prince’s case, but experts believe it would be considered a PR disaster if she paid his accuser to end claims against her second on.
Miss Roberts’s lawyer Mr Boies hinted that a deal out of court could be reached, saying: ‘I think Virginia is determined to go to trial, but settlement is always a possibility’.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, he added: ‘There has been no suggestion of settlement discussions at this point. Prior to the time that we brought the case we reached out to Prince Andrew and to Prince Andrew’s lawyers and suggested mediation as a possible way of avoiding litigation.
‘There was no interest in that at that time whether that has changed or not, I think, we’ll have to wait and see. A purely financial settlement is not anything that I think that she is interested in.’
Miss Roberts alleges she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions in 2001, when she was 17, and he knew she was a trafficking victim.
She says she was offered up to the prince and other wealthy and powerful friends of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. Andrew strongly denies the claims.
Yesterday, New York judge Lewis Caplan dismissed the duke’s application to have the case thrown out at an early stage. Andrew’s legal team had attempted to persuade the judge that Miss Roberts – bringing the case under her married name of Giuffre – had waived her right to sue any other ‘potential defendants’ when she agreed a £370,000 ($500,000) pay-off with Epstein in 2009.
They believed the wording of the agreement, and a reference in her original lawsuit to being sexually exploited by ‘royalty’, meant that the prince was protected from litigation.
Although his judgment ran to 44 pages, the judge said his task was a simple one, ‘to determine whether there are two or more reasonable interpretations’ of the Epstein deal.
Miss Roberts alleges she was offered up to the prince and other wealthy and powerful friends of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. Andrew strongly denies the claims
Ghislaine Maxwell gives Jeffrey Epstein a foot massage on his private jet dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’ and said to have taken Virginia to London where she was allegedly forced to gave sex with Andrew
Is he ready for the great inquisitor?
Prince Andrew is now set to be grilled by Virginia Roberts’s ‘peerless’ lawyer.
David Boies, her 80-year-old New York attorney, is seen as the ‘greatest deposition-taker’ in modern American justice – when witnesses are interviewed under oath.
His services, for the princely sum of $2,000 (£1,460) an hour, are highly sought after.
He led the prosecution of Microsoft by the US government that saw the computing giant briefly split up. It is expected he will fly to the UK with members of his team to interview Andrew under oath. Former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner described him as ‘peerless’.
Mr Boies said last night: ‘Virginia is obviously very pleased with the court’s decision. It does not resolve the case on the merits, it simply rejects certain legal defences Prince Andrew was putting up to avoid a trial.’
When he found the wording was ‘ambiguous’, and so open to challenge, he said it was for a jury, and not him, to decide on its meaning. But he added that, in his opinion, the agreement ‘cannot be said’ to have ‘clearly and unambiguously’ been intended to benefit the duke.
The judge made no finding on the allegations against Andrew.
His decision means the proceedings move quickly to ‘discovery’, the unveiling of witnesses and key evidence. It also means the prince is now set to be put through an uncomfortable grilling by Miss Roberts’ attorneys, under oath and on video, about all aspects of his private life.
Spencer Kuvin, a lawyer representing nine of Epstein’s victims, warned that her legal team would be entitled to ‘ask any question they wanted to’.
The lawyer said: ‘The court is opening up the case for discovery which includes deposition [interview under oath] of Prince Andrew. This is bad news for not just Andrew but his whole family. Anyone who is supporting… his alibi is potentially liable for a deposition.’
Andrew could, as a British citizen, simply to refuse to participate in the case further, but a default judgment and award for damages would likely be found against him.
Defamation and reputation legal expert Mark Stephens warned last night that the duke now finds himself ‘in the last chance saloon with the towels over the taps’.
He said: ‘He’s got to settle. He’s got to get out. Or he’s a dead man walking. Judge Lewis Kaplan has thrown this judicial decision like a bomb at the heart of the Royal Family.’
Royal insiders told the Mail Buckingham Palace has no choice but to permanently cut Prince Andrew ‘adrift’. They predicted the Queen will have to bar her son from official public appearances such as her Platinum Jubilee.
How Edward VIII KEPT HRH title after abdication… as the Queen strips Andrew of his SourceHow Edward VIII KEPT HRH title after abdication… as the Queen strips Andrew of his