Princess Beatrice went shopping with her baby yesterday just hours before the Queen stripped her father Prince Andrew of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style in a dramatic fallout from his civil sex case.
The 33-year-old royal was photographed out in London at 2.30pm yesterday, about two-and-a-half hours before Buckingham Palace issued the statement leaving Duke of York’s status as a member of the Royal Family in tatters.
Beatrice, who is also styled as Mrs Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi after her marriage to the property developer in July 2020, looked at the sales on King’s Road in Chelsea while pushing her three-month-old daughter Sienna in a pram.
The tenth-in-line to the throne was also seen drinking a Pret coffee while walking around wearing a face mask and a Burberry wool jacket – and kept a low profile, ditching her usual chauffeur-driven car for a London black cab.
The Queen’s move is a humiliation for Andrew and comes after the lawsuit against him took a major step forward on Wednesday when a judge threw out his motion to dismiss the sexual assault case and ruled it can go to trial.
Andrew, who was born an HRH, will not use it any official capacity, and has also been stripped of his remaining royal patronages in a decision which represents the 61-year-old’s complete removal from official royal life.
The dramatic move is also being seen as an attempt to distance the monarchy from Andrew, who was once second in line to the throne as the spare to the heir, in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Beatrice and her mother Sarah Ferguson were said to have been among the key figures pressing Andrew to go ahead with the disastrous BBC interview in November 2019 about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Princess Beatrice goes out shopping with her baby Sienna on King’s Road in London’s exclusive Chelsea district yesterday
Princess Beatrice crosses the road in Chelsea yesterday as she goes out on a shopping with her baby daughter Sienna
Princess Beatrice pushes her baby daughter Sienna in a pram along King’s Road while shopping in Chelsea yesterday
Princess Beatrice comes out of a store in Chelsea yesterday afternoon as she goes on a shopping trip in London
Priness Beatrice puts her pram into the back of a London black cab yesterday after her shopping trip in Chelsea
Princess Beatrice drinks a Pret coffee as she walks around London’s exclusive Chelsea district yesterday afternoon
Beatrice and Andrew are thought to have met Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis and the programme’s deputy editor Stewart Maclean at Buckingham Palace three days before filming to discuss the scope of the interview.
But the Princess, with the benefit of hindsight, was left mortified that she did not do more to stop the interview going ahead – and it also left her and younger sister Eugenie in a difficult position as members of the Royal Family.
One of the most infamous moments of the interview, which saw Andrew deny sleeping with then 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre, included how had spent the day in question with Beatrice at a Pizza Express in Woking.
The Duke said that one of an alleged three encounters with Ms Giuffre – all of which he denied – on March 10, 2021 did not happen because he spent the day with his daughter for a party in the afternoon.
Andrew said during the interview: ‘I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon.’
When asked why he would remember this 18 years later, he said: ‘Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.’
Princess Beatrice pushes her daughter Sienna in a pram around London’s Chelsea while looking in the shops
Princess Beatrice went shopping yesterday just hours before the Queen stripped Prince Andrew of his honorary military roles
Beatrice was seen in London at 2.30pm yesterday, two-and-a-half hours before Buckingham Palace issued the statement
Princess Beatrice is also styled as Mrs Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi after her marriage to the property developer in July 2020
Princess Beatrice looks at the sales on King’s Road in Chelsea while pushing her three-month-old daughter Sienna in a pram
The decision by the Queen to strip Andrew of his titles paves the way for Andrew to seek an out-of-court settlement with Ms Giuffre without the fear of his decision – likely to be viewed unfavourably by the public – being associated with the royal family.
Prince Andrew says he will fight to clear name
Defiant Prince Andrew was fighting on last night rather than settle the US sex claims against him.
A source close to the prince declared his New York civil case, in which the duke has been accused of rape and sexual assault, was a ‘marathon not a sprint’.
Andrew was left with ‘only bad options’, legal experts said, after his bid to have the case thrown out was dismissed.
Despite pleas for Andrew to ‘do the right thing for the Queen’ and offer his accuser millions to avoid a trial, the duke appeared to be digging in for the long haul.
His accuser, Jeffrey Epstein sex slave Virginia Roberts, was, however, said to be determined to snub any offer of cash in favour of having her day in court.
Their positions dramatically raised the likelihood of a showdown between the Queen’s second son and Miss Roberts in a New York court this autumn.
In a crushing ruling this week, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the senior royal’s arguments for cancelling the case.
Ms Giuffre, who is suing Andrew for undisclosed damages, alleges she was forced to have sex with him three times in 2001 when she was 17 and a trafficking victim.
Last night a source close to the duke said: ‘Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling. However, it was not a judgment on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations.’
They added: ‘This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.’ Andrew has been accused of trying to ‘dodge, duck, run and hide’ from the case, initially by using his mother’s palaces to avoid being served with the legal papers.
After that failed, he came out fighting with his US lawyer branding Miss Roberts a ‘money-hungry sex kitten’ who had ‘initiated this baseless lawsuit to achieve another payday’. Last week, the duke – who strenuously denies all the accusations – attempted to have the case struck out in a crunch hearing in Manhattan. But his bid was comprehensively dismissed by Judge Kaplan on Wednesday.
It led to widespread calls for him to stump up millions to settle the case rather than submit himself to a humiliating and disastrous courtroom grilling about his sex life in the Platinum Jubilee year.But last night Miss Roberts’ lawyer, David Boies, vowed that she would not give in, even if offered a bonanza cash settlement.
He said: ‘She wants to achieve justice. I think it’s very important to Virginia Giuffre that this matter be resolved in a way that vindicates her and vindicates other victims.’
Mr Boies said there had been ‘no suggestion’ of a settlement discussion at this point. He said that Miss Roberts had previously ‘reached out’ to Prince Andrew offering to find a settlement to avoid going to court but ‘there was no interest in that at that time’.
‘Whether that has changed or not I think we will have to wait and see,’ the attorney added.
But he stressed: ‘A purely financial settlement is not anything that I think she is interested in.’
The development comes after more than 150 veterans joined forces to express their outrage, writing to the Queen to demand the duke’s removal from the honorary military positions.
Lieutenant Stuart Hunt, 52, who served in The 1st Royal Tank Regiment and signed the letter, branded the matter an ‘unsavoury business’ and told the PA news agency: ‘Whether he’s guilty or not, he has brought things into disrepute. He’s not fit to serve in an honorary rank. He has forgone that right by getting into this sort of situation.’
Royal author Penny Junor questioned whether the Queen should have insisted the titles and patronages be returned sooner: ‘I think it was a huge embarrassment that retired serving military personnel were demanding that titles be removed.
‘That just becomes embarrassing and it becomes damaging to the Queen because the Queen is then seen as protecting her son.’
She added: ‘I don’t know if the Queen was too slow to take them back or whether it lies with Andrew who was too slow to offer them back.
‘But either way I think actually a bit of criticism has to fall on the Queen here, because if Andrew was not offering them up she, or her advisers should have seen that this was going to cause a problem and should have insisted that she take them back.’
A royal source said the issue had been widely discussed with the royal family, making it likely that the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge were involved in crisis talks over the matter.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement yesterday: ‘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.’
It is understood the decision was taken by mutual agreement between the Queen and her son but the ultimate decision would have fallen to the monarch and been a difficult one.
As a former Royal Navy officer who served in the Falklands War the loss of his association with the military units and regiments, the most prestigious being Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, will be keenly felt by Andrew.
The source said the military posts would be redistributed to other members of the royal family.
But Andrew will keep his rank of Vice Admiral and his role of Counsellor of State, undertaken by the spouse of a monarch and the next four adults in the line of succession.
It is not clear what effect the decision will have on the level of security provided for the duke now his status has been reduced.
The Queen is head of the armed forces and honorary military appointments are in her gift.
The Palace said previously that the duke’s military appointments were in abeyance after he stepped down from public duties in 2019 after his disastrous Newsnight interview.
But until now he still retained the roles, which left the eight British regiments in limbo more than two years on.
Ms Giuffre is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
She claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s friend Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke when she was 17 and a minor under US law. The duke has strenuously denied the allegations.
A source close to the duke said he would ‘continue to defend himself’ against Ms Giuffre’s allegations following the judge’s decision to dismiss his legal team’s attempt to have the case thrown out.
Prince Andrew, his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York and their daughter Princess Beatrice during the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in October 2018
Prince Andrew spoke about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in November 2019
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi after their wedding in Windsor in July 2020, with the Queen and Prince Philip
The source said: ‘Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling. However, it was not a judgment on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
‘This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.’
Andrew’s other British honorary military roles were: Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment; Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland; Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own); and Colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment.
Royal commentator Peter Hunt, writing in the Spectator, said: ‘This is what a sacking looks like when you’re ninth in line to the British throne. No more appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony, riding horseback during Trooping the Colour, or laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
‘Henceforth, he’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York: the non-royal royal. His only sliver of consolation is that he hasn’t been stripped of being a Knight of the Garter. Yet.’