Ever since the Queen stripped her son of his royal titles, many have wondered about Prince William and Prince Charles’ response to Prince Andrew‘s disgraced role in the royal family—and whether they had anything to do with the monarch’s decision.
According to an Us Weekly report published on January 20, 2022, the Duke of Cambridge and his father were well aware of the Queen’s choice to strip Andrew’s royal titles amid his ongoing sexual abuse lawsuit in the United States. In fact, according to a source who spoke to the publication, William was “heavily involved” in coming to this decision with his grandmother.
“William, in fact, was very involved in this decision, and it’s been said that he met with the queen in person ahead of their announcement that came out last week,” royal expert Kristin Contino told the site on January 18, 2022. “I think that really shows—and I think that’s interesting—his growing influence and how she trusts his judgment and is looking for his advice. And I think that’s a great sign of things to come for William and how much she is relying on talking to him and his counsel.”
But was the Queen’s son Prince Charles quite as involved when it came to stripping his younger brother of his royal titles? According to Contino, the Prince of Wales did play a role: “Charles, of course, was involved in that decision too,” she added. “But I think [what] a lot of people thought was interesting is William’s heavy involvement in that.” The royal expert went on to reveal that the Queen “really is leaning on her two heirs at this time [to] help make those sort of big family decisions.”
News of the Duke of York’s royal title removal broke on January 13, 2022, when Buckingham Palace released a statement announcing the Queen’s decision. “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,” the announcement read at the time.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of convicted sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, claims she was sexually assaulted multiple times by Prince Andrew at the age of 17 in London and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein, who died in prison in August 2019. Two years after Epstein’s death, Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew in the state of New York.
Following her filing in August 2021, Prince Andrew’s lawyers asked a judge to throw out the case. The Duke of York’s legal team claimed that the lawsuit had no bearing given a settlement Giuffre reached with Epstein in 2009 before his death. But in January 2022, the judge dismissed the request. “Ms. Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous,’” Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in his ruling at the time. “It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse.”
The Duke of York previously announced his plan to step back from public duties in 2019, shortly after addressing his relationship with Epstein and Giuffre’s allegations in an interview with the BBC. “It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” Andrew said in a statement at the time. “Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”
The duke added at the time, “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”