Royals Queen Elizabeth Strips Prince Andrew of Military Titles and Patronages amid Sexual Assault Lawsuit The decision was "widely discussed" within the senior ranks of the royal family, a royal source confirms to PEOPLE By Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit is a Royals Writer and Reporter at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines and Simon Perry Published on January 13, 2022 12:46 PM Share Tweet Pin Email One day after a judge rejected Prince Andrew's attempt to have a sexual assault lawsuit against him thrown out, Buckingham Palace released a statement regarding Andrew's royal status. "With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen," the palace announced on Thursday. "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," the statement continued. The decision was "widely discussed" within the senior ranks of the royal family, a royal source confirms to PEOPLE — likely meaning talks between Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William. Prince Andrew, 61, will likely retain his title as the Duke of York and keep his place in the line of succession to the throne, which is currently ninth behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's two children. However, he will no longer use the style "His Royal Highness" in any official capacity. Prince Andrew Faces Trial After Judge Refuses to Dismiss Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Him Meanwhile, sources in his legal team are remaining bullish, saying they were "unsurprised" by the ruling made on Wednesday and vowing to continue his defense. A source close to Prince Andrew said, "Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling. However, it was not a judgment on the merits of Ms Giuffre's allegations. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims." Prince Andrew. Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images Prince Andrew's attorneys argued last week to dismiss Virginia Roberts Giuffre's sexual assault lawsuit after it was revealed that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein reached a $500,000 settlement with Giuffre, in which she agreed not to sue any other "potential defendant." Giuffre alleges she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew at the age of 17. Andrew has denied any wrongdoing. In a previous statement shared with PEOPLE, Giuffre said, "I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one's life by speaking out and demanding justice." Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew. Chris Jackson/Getty Images Prince Andrew announced in Nov. 2019 that he would "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future" following his bombshell interview with the BBC about his ties to Epstein. "It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," he said in the statement. "Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission." Prince Andrew; Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Alexander Koerner/Getty; Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused to grant the royal's motion to dismiss on Wednesday, meaning Queen Elizabeth's son could face a trial date between September and December 2022, according to CNN. "Ms. Giuffre's complaint is neither 'unintelligible' nor 'vague' nor 'ambiguous,'" Judge Kaplan wrote in the opinion obtained by PEOPLE. "It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse." In a statement, Giuffre's lawyer said, "Today's decision by Judge Kaplan denying Prince Andrew's effort to dismiss Virginia Giuffre's case against him is another important step in Virginia's heroic and determined pursuit of justice as a survivor of sex trafficking."