Prince Andrew was stripped of his Royal Highness title, his right to wear his ceremonial military uniforms, and his royal status and patronages, in a summit on Wednesday.
The Duke of York was forced to quit his royal duties in 2019 following a disastrous interview where he denied ever meeting one of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein's victims, Virginia Giuffre. Now, he is facing further sanctions from the royals as the sex abuse case filed against him by Giuffre is about to go to trial. Buckingham Palace announced his complete exit as a royal in a brutal statement issued on Thursday, that read, "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."
The statement comes days after reports that the royal is trying to sell his Swiss chalet in order to pay his legal fees after his mother Queen Elizabeth II refused to help him with it. A senior royal palace source told Mail Online about the latest decision, "This is about the survival of the institution at all costs. Always has been and always will be."
Andrew was summoned for a 90-minute meeting with his mother at Windsor Castle on Wednesday after a US court refused to dismiss the case against him. His personal lawyer, Gary Bloxsome, also accompanied him as he drove from his nearby home, Royal Lodge, to the castle, but was not allowed to enter the premises and had to wait in the car.
As per the sources, Prince Charles and Prince William, direct heirs to the British throne, demanded to exile Andrew and were "instrumental" in influencing the decision about his fate. The heir apparent had spoken to the Queen about the matter on the phone as he is in Scotland, while William spoke to her when he travelled to Windsor Castle to conduct an investiture on her behalf. It is not yet confirmed if the duo were virtually or physically present at the summit.
A well-placed palace source said that the senior royals kept the same approach for Andrew that they had kept at a summit held to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit as senior royals in March 2020. The insider said, "They have taken this decision to insulate the institution from being hit by all the shrapnel that is flying around. It follows the same model as the Sussex separation. The removal of titles and patronages means the institution can now legitimately say it is not involved."
"It was a ruthless and swift decision which will have been recommended by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge and sanctioned by the Queen," the source said.
Other insiders said that the monarch must have been deeply "pained" while taking the decision as it is believed that Andrew is her favourite child. However, she did what she needed to do for the monarchy.
"She has the ability, when push comes to shove, to know what is best for the institution and will act in her role as head of state, not a mother. She loves Andrew and this doesn't mean he is no longer her son. But a decision had to be made as it was overshadowing everything the family did and her forthcoming platinum jubilee," a source close to the 95-year-old said.
Buckingham Palace's announcement that Andrew is a "private citizen" might also mean that he would lose his 24-hour police protection, like the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex did during their exit. He could also potentially lose his primary residence Royal Lodge at Windsor Castle, which he shares with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.