Queen Elizabeth will not remove Prince Andrew’s ducal title no matter who asks

This week, Prince Andrew was stripped of another honor/title. In 1987, Andrew was given the ambassadorial title of Freedom of the City from the City of York in England. Andrew has previously been “stripped” of all of his royal patronages and most (but not all) of his military patronages, so it’s been up to individual charities and whole-ass towns to make the move to strip Andrew of his more private patronages and honors. The guy who announced it had a lot to say:

Darryl Smalley, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Culture, said the Freedom of York was “the highest honor” the city could bestow.

“The honor is held by many notable and accomplished people who carry it with pride and responsibly. Having been stripped of his military roles and royal patronages by the Queen, we believe that it is right to remove all links that Prince Andrew still has with our great city,” he said, according to ITV. “I was pleased to see councilors of all parties support this motion and make it clear that it is no longer appropriate for Prince Andrew to represent York and its residents. The removal of this honorary title sends the right message that we as a city stand with victims of abuse.”

York councilors say the “next logical step” would be for Prince Andrew to “do the right thing and relinquish his Duke of York title,” a dukedom bestowed to him by the Queen on his wedding day. The Duke of York is the title traditionally held by the next sibling in the line of succession behind the Prince or Princess of Wales, the title currently held by Prince Charles. Smalley said, “If he fails to do so, the government and Buckingham Palace must step in to remove his title to finally end Prince Andrew’s connection to York.”

[From People]

I totally understand why the city of York would be like “we do not want this f–king guy representing us in any way.” I’ve also got to believe that there was probably a reason for the delay too – I mean, Andrew “stepped down” months ago, what took York so long? As we’ve heard before, the Queen’s courtiers were leaning on all kinds of people to “keep” Andrew on as patron. Is it possible that the York councilors were also leaned on? Perhaps. In any case, sources say that the Queen will not be stripping Andrew of his ducal title:

The Queen will ‘certainly not’ take Prince Andrew’s Duke of York title off him – after councillors in the city voted to strip him of the honour. Her Majesty, 96, will not remove the title that she gave him over 30 years ago in 1986, Royal sources have claimed.

A source told the Mirror: ‘The Queen certainly will not take any further action in that regard. The Duke of York has stepped back from public life and already had a range of titles and associations removed and Her Majesty’s position has not deviated from that.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Yeah, I thought the whole thing with ducal titles “given” by the sovereign was that it’s not that easy to take them back? I doubt the Queen wants to take back Andrew’s title in the first place, but it’s not like she would be capable of doing so with a simple announcement or a memo. I’m pretty sure that the government has to get involved and there are several layers of institutional bureaucracy. Same with “removing” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s titles. If it could be done with a strike of a pen, the Queen would have already done it with Harry and Meghan (but not Andrew).

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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34 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth will not remove Prince Andrew’s ducal title no matter who asks”

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  1. Bea says:

    Doesn’t surprise me at all considering her record. I remember when it was reported that the palace vehemently opposed taking Savile’s title posthumously, they simply do not care about accountably despite the nature of the crimes committed.

    • Jan90067 says:

      I don’t think ANY of them (incl. House of Lords) wants to get ANYWHERE *NEAR* this (being able to remove titles). The thought of it being done easily probably has them peeing their pants.

      Besides the whole British class system relies on the titles: those with “Stars on Thars” (Dr Suess’ The Sneetches, remember? One group of Sneetches that had stars on their bellies, treated the non-star-bellied Sneetches as inferior. Same as titled vs. non-titled/ aristo vs. non-aristo).

  2. BayTampaBay says:

    QEII cannot do anything with regards to Andrew’s title except make a recommendation to the Prime Minister for removal of said title no matter what The City of York Council thinks for wants.

    “The City of York Council has also called for Andrew to relinquish his Duke of York title, which can only be removed by an act of parliament. The last time that this happened was in 1917, when King George V passed the Titles Deprivation Act to remove the British peerages of several German and Australian nobles, during the First World War.”

    Neither the UK Parliament or the Prime Minster will touch this issue with a 10-foot pole.

    • Lionel says:

      Also (correct me if I’m wrong) the D of York title has nothing to do with the actual city of York. Maybe it did in ancient history when it was tied to lands, but now it’s just words. Just like the Sussexes don’t have anything to do with the County of Sussex. And the Wessexes literally made up their name, from what I understand.

      I get that the City of York would rather there be no association with Andrew in anyone’s mind, but it’s similar to New York City saying they want his title removed so nobody thinks they’re officially linked to him. Nobody would think that anyway.

      • About feudal titles says:

        So there are two kinds of noble titles: the one with land tenure (a fief), and the one without. The former is like a feudal title. The ennobled would get a piece of land from the sovereign and they would be required to pay feudal taxes based on that land and they also need to raise army to fight for the sovereign in acts of war. Because of the army raising ability, these were very powerful feudal lords. But it was also exactly this reason, the monarch stopped this practice since the Tudors. Examples of these titles are the barons that forced King John to sign the Magna Carter, the Crown’s original three French titles (they were the French fief, despite them being English kings). The only remaining ones are Duchy of Lancaster and Duchy of Cornwall. These two duchies survived, because they are royal properties. The rest of noble titles are more like honorary ones, and that includes the York Dukedom, because Yorkshire isn’t tied to the dukedom like the earlier mentioned two royal duchies do.

      • Clairey says:

        I live in York and Prince Andrew had “the freedom of the city” he was allowed to come here and have lunch with the Mayor, open the races, fly in by helicopter and generally swank around the place. There has been a campaign to get rid of him for a long time now. I am personally very glad he has been stripped of those (small) privileges by the city.

  3. Maggie says:

    If Harry had stayed with the toxic firm, he would have become the Duke of York when Charles becomes King, right?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      No. Harry will always remain Duke of Sussex regardless of the Duke of York title. Andrew’s ducal title cannot be re-issued until Andrew dies and the title merges back into the crown as he has no son to inherit his Duke of York title.

    • Hannah says:

      Andrew will remain Duke of York till his death, it would not automatically pass to Prince Harry once Charles accedes. When Andrew dies, as he has no male heirs, the DoY title will automatically revert back to The Crown (which I imagine may be during William’s rule, if we still have a Monarchy) William may choose to hold it in abeyance, which is what I suspect will be done as that ducal title is tainted. Or he may choose to confer it on one of his children. I’d prefer it didn’t go to Prince Harry (because of its ties to a known paedophile)

      • EBS says:

        Agreed. They’ll use Clarence before York, probably for Louis. I expect George will get Edinburgh and then Louis will get either Cambridge or Clarence.

    • Seaflower says:

      My understanding is it would go to Louis as PA would still be alive and holding the title when Chuck ascends.

  4. Steph says:

    Please clarify this timeline for me. I thought he stepped back from the public duties before H&M did, immediately after that train wreck interview. However he kept his titles and patronages until just a few months ago?

  5. justsaying says:

    The Queen can’t take away his Dukedom, only an act of Parliament can accomplish that.

    • anotherlily says:

      Yes, and the only precedent is the 1917 Titles Deprivation Act ‘An Act to deprive Enemy Peers and Princes of British Dignities and Titles’.

      If you google this Act it is perfectly clear that it applies to those who hold British titles and who during a time of war support the enemies of Britain.

      The Act also provides for any heirs of the Peers who have been deprived of titles to have the titles reinstated.

      • JaneBee says:

        @AnotherLilly – Thanks for sharing the existence of this legislation! Presumably someone in opposition has checked if its application extends to titles of certain recent appointees to the House of Lords… 🤔

      • JaneBee says:

        Okay, you prompted me to check… would in theory have application to the relevant scenario, were it not limited to the context of WWI 😀

  6. equality says:

    I doubt many people associate the titles with the places really anyway since none of them live in the places the title represents. I guess, PC does have a house in Cornwall though?

    • Colby says:

      I think you hit on something here. I think the fact that the monarchy has so little impact on an average Britain’s day to day is partly why it’s still around.

      Its probably easy to just go about your life and not think about the royal family – good, bad, or otherwise.

      I do hope eventually it’s abolished, but in the meantime they’re coasting on apathy.

    • Lionel says:

      @ Equality: As I understand it, only the Duke of Cornwall (AKA the heir, always) and the Duke of Lancaster (AKA the monarch, always) have *Royal* titles that come with land (and therefore income.) There are multiple non-Royal Dukes of wherever whose sons still inherit big houses and lands, Downton Abbey style. (Eg- The Duke of Devonshire owns Chatsworth and huge swaths of land including an entire village, all of which is inherited along with the title as per ancient laws of primogeniture.) But the Royal titles the Queen gives away like candy to her kids? Cambridge, Sussex, York, Edinburgh? They’re just words. Edward and Sophie made up their name because they heard it in a movie and liked it, although the actual Kingdom of Wessex hasn’t existed since medieval times, which underscores how little meaning they actually have. (Although Edward was under the impression that he’d eventually become the Duke of Edinburgh, so he might be regretting that move now.)

  7. Emma says:

    Short of treason (and even then … ) I don’t see the queen punishing Andrew any more than she has to. Even Nazi Abdicator Uncle Edward was a royal duke all his life. Technically all honor derives from her and she can take it back, but practically that’s untenable. It would destabilize the whole system if a royal duke had to face *actual consequences* and not just a slap on the wrist. They’ll just keep him away from the public… except on really important nationally televised occasions in cathedrals when Mommy wants him front and center.

    • anotherlily says:

      Royal titles and most Peerages are not ‘honours’. A knighthood is a lifetime honour and some peerages are given as lifetime honours. In some circumstances lifetime honours can be removed.

      Hereditary peerages are property and once given cannot be taken back except under the very limited provisions of the Titles Deprivation Act of 1917. In Andrew’s case he has no male heir and his peerage will revert to the Crown when he dies.

  8. C says:

    And here we have why British people need to think hard about whether they want a monarchy, really, because this is how it works. These people remain in power whether you like it or not. Voting on it doesn’t enter into it.
    Not that horrible people aren’t in positions of power all over the world, but the example of the British monarchy in UK society is really…something else.

    • Colby says:

      All this. Being an American, I cannot fathom the concept of a monarchy in a modern world.

      America’s not perfect, for sure. But getting rid of the Monarchy seems like such a no brainer.

    • anotherlily says:

      The Queen’s relatives have some influence, or some of them do, but only the monarch has any kind of power. Ultimate power is in the hands of Parliament. Charles I was beheaded on the orders of Parliament because he would not accept any limitation of a Monarch’s power. He believed in divine right.

      England’s republic under Oliver Cromwell proved to be unpopular. It became puritanical and repressive. Charles II, the ‘King in Exile’ was invited to return after accepting a new arrangement giving ultimate power to Parliament. This remains the case. Spain is another country which reinstated the monarchy after a republic followed by the dictatorship rule of Franco.

      The UK is one of 13 European monarchies. All are constitutional monarchies, with the exception of Monaco. A constitutional monarch is said to hold power in trust for the population. For those who support the system it is accepted as a safeguard against dictatorship.

      There is no widespread support for a republic in the UK. Like politicians, the Queen and those who represent her are subject to scrutiny and can be openly criticised. This is seen as one of the strengths of the system. Prince Andrew has been held to account in the court of public opinion. He will never be allowed to resume any public position. Charles will be expected to repair the damage of the last few years, which he is partly responsible for. His conduct towards the Sussexes will play a major part.

      I know it isn’t the most popular idea here but I believe Harry and Meghan will ultimately get the kind of arrangengement they asked for.

  9. Merricat says:

    Of course the people of York don’t want to be associated with Andrew. I don’t blame them for trying to get him fired, as it were.

  10. Julia K says:

    In a way, this is good that she refuses to start the procedure that removes his title. It is some protection for Harry I think. If Andrew were to lose his title it would be all too easy for haters to say ” next”.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Please don’t get me wrong, I certainly do NOT want Harry and Meghan to be singled out for title removal because they did nothing wrong other than be successful and popular. But, ALL inherited titles should be done away with. It’s the 21st century, and it’s time the British joined most of the civilized world and do away with peerages.

    • anotherlily says:

      There are no grounds for any action under the Titles Deprivation Act of 1917 which is the only procedure for removing royal and hereditary titles. It applies only to those who during a time of war support the Monarch’s enemies.

  11. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    A peerage title, once given by the crown, can only be removed by Parliament. So no, the queen herself cannot take away Andrew’s ducal title. That is entirely different from the HRH titles, which are both given and taken away at the will/whim on the monarch.

    • anotherlily says:

      HRH style is inherited by position at birth. The Queen has taken action by Letters Patent (with Parliamentary approval) to extend HRH to William’s younger children from birth. Otherwise it would have been limitrd to the firstborn until Charles succeeds to the throne.

      She was able to remove HRH status from Diana and from Andrew’s wife Sarah because they held such status only through marriage. When the marriages ended they were no longer able to represent the Queen. Their titles from marriage, as opposed to status from marriage, remained just as any divorced woman can retain the title ‘Mrs’ .

      Harry has not lost his HRH status. He was asked, and has agreed, to refrain from using his HRH in any commercial activities and to be known as the Duke of Sussex. He is still a Prince. Meghan’s titles derive from her marriage.

  12. Margaret says:

    How about the queen up and about smiling, since her meeting with the Sussexes, the conspirators pulled one off, and I do believe the intrigue has lifted her spirits. She looks happier than she has in a while. No wonder the lames want to move to windsor asap. I think to interfere in making sure the Sussexes don’t sneak in again. Lol.

  13. phlyfiremama says:

    Anybody want to bet Chaz the petty will have ZERO problem stripping it away?! LOL

  14. Elizabeth says:

    That picture of just them, walking and looking directly at camera, is very telling and creepy, imo. She has a sneaky, guarded, angry expression that, to me, simultaneously and clearly says, “Get lost, he’s with me and you’ll have to go through me to reach him. It’s us against you . . . ”
    His expression is like a deer caught in headlights . . . “Oh! Are you looking at me? What should I do next? What are you thinking? Am I being singled out or caught on something?”
    Both expressions appear temporarily candid, like their inner feelings shone through . . . Very creepy indeed.