Prince Andrew could be stripped of Freedom of the City of York TONIGHT

Prince Andrew could be stripped of the Freedom of the City of York TONIGHT as councillors debate motion to remove disgraced duke’s honorary title

  • City of York Council to debate a motion to strip prince of his title at 6pm tonight 
  • If removed, they will likely call on Palace to revoke honorary ‘Duke of York’ title
  • Dozens of bodies have distanced themselves from Andrew since sex abuse case

Prince Andrew faces fresh humiliation tonight as councillors in York decide whether or not to strip him of yet another honorary title in the wake of his settled sex abuse case. 

Council bosses in the northern England city will gather at 6pm to debate revoking the prince’s Freedom of the City honour, awarded to him in 1987. 

The decision would not automatically strip the Queen’s youngest son of his ‘Duke of York’ title, however councillors last month suggested they would call on Buckingham Palace and the government to have it removed.

It follows a slew of authorities, institutions, schools and even golf clubs, which have all sought to distance themselves from the disgraced duke since he settled his civil case with Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Roberts. 

In the wake of the case, which was settled in February, the 62-year-old was also stripped of his military roles and royal patronages and was told he would no longer be known as ‘His Royal Highness’. 

The meeting in York had been scheduled to take place virtually last month but the plug was pulled just two hours before it was due to start following objections from Labour councillors. 

The decision to strip the Duke of his Freeman status was due to take just 45 minutes.

It was then expected that there would be an agreement to call on Buckingham Palace and the government to remove the Duke of York title.  

Council bosses in the northern England city of York will gather at 6pm to debate revoking Prince Andrew’s Freedom of the City title, awarded to the duke (pictured) in 1987

The city council meeting in York had been scheduled to take place virtually last month but the plug was pulled just two hours before it was due to start following objections from Labour councillors. Pictured: York Minster

In the wake of his sex abuse case, which was settled in February, the 62-year-old (pictured driving around Windsor) was also stripped of his military roles and royal patronages and was told he would no longer be known as ‘His Royal Highness’

York City Council was set to consider the motion: ‘The Council resolves that, pursuant to Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, the City of York Council withdraws the Honorary Freeman of the City status from the Duke of York which was conferred upon him in 1987.’ 

The decision to cancel the meeting caused fury among councillors, but York Council’s Lib Dem Group said the vote would go ahead on the same motion in April. 

The spokesman said: ‘The votes taken remotely would have been seen as recommendations and would have had to go to the Chief Operating Officer to be confirmed as decisions.

‘Virtual meetings took place during Covid when the COO agreed with all the recommendations. It is purely because the agenda item on this meeting was very, very political.

‘It was felt it would be better to hold it safely and properly in person once members were ready and healthy enough to attend.

‘Quite a few councillors had recently tested positive for Covid and the real concern was many of them were vulnerable.’ 

The Duke faces becoming the first VIP to be stripped of his Freeman status since Jimmy Savile suffered the same fate from Scarborough Council in 2011.

Ahead of the cancelled meeting last month, Darryl Smalley, a Liberal Democrat councillor for York City, told the Independent: ‘York’s unique connection to the crown and the monarch is an important part of our city’s legacy and history.  

‘However, as a council and city, we stand with victims of sexual abuse and are doing all we can to end violence against women and girls locally. 

‘As such, it is inappropriate that Prince Andrew retains his ambassadorial title that is intrinsically linked to our city.’ 

Mr Smalley had previously called on Prince Andrew to be stripped of his title.

The prince pictured with his accuser Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty in 2021 of child sex trafficking

A survey by York’s daily newspaper The Press found that 88 per cent of its readers want to see the prince’s Duke of York honours taken away from him.  

Phil Pinder, a retailer in the famous cathedral city told The York Press in February: ‘York deserves better. He has been stripped of his royal duties; he has done a settlement out of court ending the prospect of any kind of legal clearing of his name so the only option is for him to permanently step down as the Duke of York as well.

‘York deserves another royal to represent it instead.’

He suggested the ‘controversial’ choice of Prince Harry, who lives in the US and holds the Duke of Sussex title. 

There are also multiple petitions to remove the Duke of York honour from Prince Andrew. 

One with 1,500 signatories says: ‘Not only has ‘Prince’ Andrew demonstrated a lack of morals, lack of humanity and lack of judgement by protracted fraternising with Jeffrey Epstein, his recent interview confirms he lacks the ability to reflect, show insight and learn. 

‘Most importantly, it reveals a total lack of caring for others.

‘These are not Yorkshire values. Having him associated with such a proud, fair and straight talking county is contradictory and embarrassing. Remove the title.’ 

Prince Andrew made his first public appearance since he withdrew from public life following his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty in 2021 of child sex trafficking, at the service for his father Prince Philip.

It was claimed the Queen ‘personally paid £2m to Virginia Roberts’s charity’ as part of Andrew’s £12m settlement.

‘Stipulation of Dismissal’ documents were filed with a court on March 8, with lawyers on both sides calling for the legal action to be dismissed, indicating the settlement has been paid.

As the order was published, the Treasury confirmed no taxpayer funds were used for either the payment to Virginia Roberts or for the Duke of York’s legal fees.

 The decision to remove his Freeman status would not automatically strip the Queen’s youngest son of his ‘Duke of York’ title, however councillors last month suggested they would call on Buckingham Palace and the government to have it removed

A freedom of information request asked whether any money from the Sovereign Grant to the Royal Family or any other government money was used. The Treasury insisted: ‘No public money has been used to pay legal or settlement fees.’

The joint order filed with the New York court said each party would pay their own costs and fees. 

There were reports the Queen or even Prince Charles contributed to the settlement by paying it or loaning him the money until the sale goes through of a £17million Swiss ski chalet he owns with ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York.

Mrs Roberts had sued Andrew for alleged sexual abuse. She claimed he had sex with her when she was 17 after he was trafficked by his friend, the late billionaire paedophile Epstein.

The duke will make a ‘substantial donation’ to a charity for sex abuse victims set up by Mrs Roberts, now a 38-year-old mother-of-three. He said he now regrets his association with Epstein.

Andrew, who was forced to step down from royal duties and public life as a result of the scandal, previously claimed he had no recollection of meeting Mrs Roberts and has always strongly denied her allegations.

He agreed to the settlement in February. 

All of Prince Andrew’s titles and patronages he has now lost

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

United Kingdom

  • 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. 


  • 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).

New Zealand

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.

Andrew’s patronages

  • 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; 
  • 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 Elizabeth’s 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

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