Prince Andrew has been completely removed from official royal life after the Queen stripped him of his military affiliations and royal patronages amid his ongoing sexual assault case.
Intended to distance the monarchy from the Duke of York, the dramatic move means he will no longer use the His Royal Highness royal style in any official capacity.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday: “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.”
Virginia Giuffre, now 38, says she was forced into sex at 17 with the duke by his associates Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, and has brought a civil lawsuit against Andrew. He denies the allegations.
How will the civil case affect the monarchy? Norman Baker, a commentator on royal matters, said the royal family “could not escape the immense damage” the case would bring.
The move came hours after more than 150 military veterans wrote to the Queen describing Andrew’s position as “untenable” and asking her to remove his honorary military roles.
Sinema and Manchin scupper filibuster reform
The senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have thwarted Joe Biden’s efforts to push voting rights legislation through Congress.
The president was reportedly in last-ditch talks with the centrist Democrats on Thursday night after Sinema of Arizona said she would not support any changes to filibuster rules. Manchin of West Virginia, praised Sinema and released his own statement confirming he would not do so either.
Sinema and Manchin’s rebellion comes at a time of deep concern for US democracy. Republican lawmakers in 19 states have enacted 34 new laws that impose new voting restrictions.
Why did Sinema not support changing the rules? The senator said that she “will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country”.
Why does it matter? As no Republicans support the voting rights bills or changing filibuster rules, Democrats cannot progress unless Sinema and Manchin vote with them.
Supreme court blocks Biden’s workplace vaccine-or-test rules
The supreme court has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement for unvaccinated employees at large businesses to test weekly and wear a mask at work.
The court’s conservative majority opposed the rule, but allowed the imposition of a vaccine mandate for most US healthcare workers. The mandate applies to healthcare providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding, which could affect 76,000 healthcare facilities and home health care providers.
More than 80 million people would have been affected…