Prince Andrew: what military titles did the Duke of York hold, what HRH means and what are royal patronages?

The Duke of York will no longer style himself as HRH and his military titles and patronages have been returned

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The announcement that Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and royal patronages comes after calls for him to be stripped of them.

The Duke of York, who will also no longer style himself as HRH, stepped back from official duties in 2019.

It comes after the dramatic fallout from his civil sexual assault case.

Prince Andrew had a long career with the Royal Navy and was a helicopter pilot, serving in the Falklands war. He held several honorary military titles.

Is Prince Andrew still Duke of York and what is an HRH?

Although a royal source said Prince Andrew would no longer use the style HRH - which means His or Her Royal Highness, in an official capacity, he remains the Duke of York. The Queen granted him his dukedom on his wedding day to Sarah Ferguson.

Royal titles and styles can be removed if the Queen issues a Letters Patent ordering such a change.

Royal commentator and biographer Christopher Warwick previously told Sky News while the Queen can appoint dukes, it takes an act of parliament to remove their titles “which wouldn’t cover Andrew or the monarchy in glory”.

As a child of the Queen he was born an HRH, which is a style associated with prince and princesses.

Letters patent issued by King George V in 1917 the sons and daughters of sovereigns and the male-line grandchildren of sovereigns are entitled to the style.

In 2012 prior to the birth of Prince George the Queen changed this so all the children of the eldest living son of the Prince of Wales would have the style.

Is he still in the line of succession?

Andrew remains in the line of succession to the throne and as such is still a Counsellor of State.

In the event that the Queen cannot undertake her official duties as sovereign on a temporary basis due to illness or absence abroad, two or more Counsellors of State are appointed by Letters Patent to act in her place.

The role of Counsellor of State is undertaken by any spouse of the monarch and the next four adults in the line of succession, currently the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York.

Prince Andrew was colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards.Prince Andrew was colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards.
Prince Andrew was colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards.

What military titles did Prince Andrew have?

His titles were in abeyance and although inactive he retained them. Andrew was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – one of the most senior infantry regiments in the British Army, and an honour he took over from his father the Duke of Edinburgh.

His other British honorary titles 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
  • Deputy colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own)
  • Royal colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

He also had several overseas honorary roles:

  • Colonel-in-chief of the Queen’s York Rangers
  • 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)
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers (in Nova Scotia, Canada).

What are royal patronages?

Members of the royal Family give their names and time as patrons to a variety of different charities and organisations.

The royal family’s website says over 3,000 organisations list a member of the Royal Family as their patron or president. These can range from well-known charities to smaller ones.

Recently more than 90 organisations were still appearing on the official website in the list of the duke’s charities and patronages.

At the time he stepped down from royal duties Prince Andrew had 230 patronages.

However, charities rushed to distance themselves from him after his disastrous Newsnight appearance about his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

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