Prince Andrew quits golf club as he faces civil sex assault case

LONDON – Prince Andrew has given up his honorary membership at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews as he faces a US civil suit for sexual assault.

Queen Elizabeth II's second son has effectively been stripped of his position in royal life after Buckingham Palace announced earlier this month that he had given up his honorary military titles and charitable roles.

"The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has received notification that the Duke of York will relinquish his honorary membership," said a spokesman for the private member's club northeast of Edinburgh.

"We respect and appreciate his decision."

Andrew's accuser, Virginia Giuffre, has said she had sex with the prince when she was 17 after meeting him through the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in prison two years ago while awaiting trial for sex crimes.

The prince, who is seeking a jury trial to clear his name, has not been criminally charged and has strenuously denied the allegations.

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In other signs of social ostracism, York Racecourse in northern England announced it was renaming an event called the Duke of York Stakes — even though this refers to an earlier bearer of the title.

And a police station in southern England has removed a plaque saying it was opened by the Duke of York, citing a complaint from a member of the public, the BBC reported.

Artmotion S.Africa

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