Prince Andrew loses freedom of the city of York

Liberal Democrat, Labour, Tory, Green and independent councillors came together to end Duke of York's association with city

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, stands outside Westminster Abbey after a service of thanksgiving for the late Prince Philip in London. Reuters

York councillors have voted to strip Prince Andrew, Duke of York, of his freedom of the city and called to have his dukedom removed.

Liberal Democrat, Labour, Tory, Green and independent councillors voted unanimously for the motion at York Racecourse on Wednesday, with members of the public joining in the chorus of condemnation of the duke.

Many of those who spoke at the 30-minute meeting said they wanted Prince Andrew to relinquish his Duke of York title and remove what Labour councillor Aisling Musson called “his stain of an association with this city”.

“The Honorary Freedom of York is the highest honour we, as a city, can bestow on those who represent the very best of York," said Lib Dem Darryl Smalley, York councillor and proposer of the motion.

"The honour 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.

“I was pleased to see councillors 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 the honorary title sends the message that the city of York stands with victims of abuse, Mr Smalley said.

“The next logical step is now for Prince Andrew to do the right thing and relinquish his Duke of York title,” he said.

Buckingham Palace and a representative for the Duke of York declined to comment.

The decision by councillors is the latest loss for Prince Andrew amid the fallout from a civil sex case against the royal.

In February he reached a settlement on the case with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre.

The dukedom was a gift from his mother on his wedding day in 1986 and was previously used by the Queen’s father, George VI.

In January, before the legal settlement, the Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style.

The honorary military roles he returned to the Queen included Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth, Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment and Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps.

Prince Andrew was also stripped of the titles Commodore-in-chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion, Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own), and Colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment.

He is also no longer 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 Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own), and Colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers (in Nova Scotia, Canada).

In January, he gave up his honorary membership at the prestigious home of golf – the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Fife.

The Queen’s second son made a rare public appearance at a Westminster Abbey service in March in memory of his father, the Duke of Edinburgh.

His central role in escorting the queen to the memorial service has raised the prospect of Prince Andrew putting in an appearance during the platinum jubilee weekend in June.

Updated: April 27, 2022, 8:06 PM