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New moves are afoot to force Prince Andrew to drop his “Duke of York” title after a lawmaker from the northern city tabled new legislation in Britain’s Parliament to enable such a move.
Rachael Maskell, who is the public representative for York Central, has brought forward the “Removal of Titles Bill,” after polls showed that 80 percent of its citizens want to be freed of their link with the shamed royal, who has refused to stop using the title, which was given to him as a wedding present in 1986.
Earlier this year, Andrew is said to have paid a reputed $14 million to settle with Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, who claimed Andrew raped her three times when she was a teenager. Andrew has denied ever even meeting Giuffre.
Andrew was stripped of “working royal” status by the queen and has been asked not to use his “HRH” honorific, but has not been ordered to stop using his “Duke of York” title.
Maskell told the Daily Mail that York citizens were particularly unhappy about York’s association with Andrew because of its status as a Human Rights City, a voluntary network of European cities that pledge to prioritize human rights.
Local lawmakers and council members in York have previously passed resolutions calling for Andrew to be stripped of the title, and have removed honors such as his “Freedom of the City of York.”
The legislation would also allow other individuals “who have not lived up to public expectation” to be stripped of titles.
Maskell told the Daily Mail: “Back in February, when we had the focus on the court case, which was being brought against Andrew, my constituents responded that 80% of people wanted the association with the current Duke of York to be broken. And therefore, I met with the clerks here in the Commons to see how it can be achieved.”
She discovered there were “no mechanisms in place, even for the monarch, to remove the title. The only real way it could be done is for Andrew to no longer call himself, by choice, the Duke of York.”
She added: “Using a title like the Duke of York is an ambassadorial role, it carries the name of our city across the world.
“And it’s a city, which is a Human Rights City, the only Human Rights City in England. We are already in a culture clash when we are talking about violence against women and girls and the issues that we are really working hard on in the city, about making York a very safe place.”
The queen is understood to be reluctant to force Andrew to give up his title. As The Daily Beast reported, the queen, 96, was recently said by Andrew Morton, author of the bombshell book Diana: Her True Story, to value his “intense” loyalty to her.
However, Andrew’s support is likely to run dry when his mother is no longer on the throne. Charles has been implacably opposed to Andrew resuming public life and William is reported to want Andrew completely and permanently barred from royal life.
Source : The Daily Beast