Prince Andrew, Duke of York, stripped of ceremonial honor by York City Council

Britain's Prince Andrew
Britain’s Prince Andrew appears at the Royal Chapel at Windsor following the announcement of the death of his father, Prince Philip, in April 2021.
(Steve Parsons / Pool Photo)

Prince Andrew has lost another ceremonial honor as groups throughout Britain cut their ties to him after he was disgraced by allegations of sexual misconduct.

The council in the northern city of York on Wednesday night voted unanimously to withdraw the prince’s “freedom of the city.’’ The honor was awarded to Andrew in 1987 after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, made him the Duke of York.

Andrew is the first person to be stripped of the status, a purely ceremonial honor that dates back to medieval times when “freemen’’ enjoyed special privileges. Honorees include the actor Judi Dench and Princess Anne, Andrew’s sister.


Andrew was stripped of his honorary military roles in January amid the furor surrounding a lawsuit alleging that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and amid fears that the scandal would badly taint the royal family. The queen also removed his honorary leadership of various charities, known as royal patronages, and barred him from using the title “His Royal Highness” in official settings.

After insisting on his innocence and saying he would see the matter through to trial, Andrew settled the lawsuit and agreed to pay his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, an undisclosed sum that the British media has suggested could be as much as $15 million.

York City Councilor Darryl Smalley said the city was just following the example set by the queen in removing Andrew’s titles.

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“She saw that it was doing serious reputational damage to those military institutions and charities and so stepped in to remove him from those positions,” Smalley told ITV News. “We believe very strongly, and many residents agree with us, that we should be removing all links between our city and Prince Andrew.”

Smalley and other local leaders have argued that Andrew should also lose the title of Duke of York.

“York has a fantastic relationship with the monarchy going back hundreds of years. It’s something we cherish,” he said. “We can’t cherish it whilst we have Prince Andrew as our most senior royal.”