Prince Andrew

Prince AndrewGetty: Images

The Duke of York's military titles and Royal have been returned to the Queen, according to a brief statement released by Buckingham Palace

Prince Andrew, 61, will also stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity, a royal source said.

This news comes following the announcement that the Duke would be facing a civil trial over his sexual assault allegations that he has consistently denied.

The case is being carried out in New York by Andrew's accuser Virginia Giuffre. Reacting to the news of her case, Giuffre tweeted out

"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."

The response from Buckingham Palace regarding Andrew's trial has been swift and decisive.

Buckingham Palace released a short statement that 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."

Royal sources have stated that this decision was thoroughly discussed in the Royal Family. Like Harry and Meghan, Prince Andrew retains his title HRH but will not use it in any official capacity.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said it had no comment about the duke's military titles being handed back to the Queen, and that it was a matter for the Palace. Along with this, on Thursday, a letter - released by anti-monarchy pressure group Republic - was signed by more than 150 Royal Navy, RAF, and Army veterans asking the Queen to strip Prince Andrew of his eight British military titles.

Clearly, the Royal Family felt the need to distance itself as far away as possible from the Duke's trial.