Prince Andrew Uses Ex-Wife Fergie's Instagram to Send Now-Deleted Message Using Banned 'HRH' Title

Prince Andrew was banned from using his HRH ("His Royal Highness") title amid his recent sexual assault case

Sarah Ferguson shared a series of Instagram posts on behalf of her ex-husband Prince Andrew over the weekend using his banned "His Royal Highness" title — before deleting the message just hours later.

In the message, Prince Andrew reflected on the 40th anniversary of his leaving to serve in the Falkland War with the Royal Navy, where he flew missions as a Sea King helicopter pilot. Queen Elizabeth's son, 62, said he entered the war "full of bravado" but returned a "changed man."

The post was signed by "written by HRH The Duke of York." In January, the Queen stripped Andrew of his military titles and royal responsibilities due to the public scandal that exposed his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (on Feb. 15 Andrew settled a sexual assault civil case filed by one of Epstein's victims, Virginia Giuffre but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing). While he would retain his title as the Duke of York and keep his place in the line of succession to the throne, Andrew was to no longer use the style "His Royal Highness" in any official capacity.

Shortly after it was posted, the Instagram message was amended to remove the "HRH" ahead of Prince Andrew's Duke of York title. Quickly thereafter, the posts were deleted entirely.

Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew at Royal Ascot - 2019. getty

Alongside an old photo of Prince Andrew dressed in military uniform, he wrote: "As I sit here at my desk on this cold crisp spring morning thinking back to April 1982 I've tried to think what was going through my mind as we sailed out of Portsmouth lining the flight deck of HMS INVINCIBLE."

He continued, "So whilst I think back to a day when a young man went to war, full of bravado, I returned a changed man. I put away childish things and false bravado and returned a man full in the knowledge of human frailty and suffering."

Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew. getty

Although Fergie, as the Duchess of York is affectionately called, and Prince Andrew announced their separation in March 1992 before officially divorcing four years later, they continued to raise daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie together and have remained friendly.

Eugenie has famously said, according to BBC, "They are the best divorced couple I know."

Despite stepping back from public life, Prince Andrew played a prominent role at his father Prince Philip's memorial service on Tuesday. In an unexpected move, the pair traveled to the service together by car from Windsor and Queen Elizabeth entered Westminster Abbey on the arm of her disgraced son.

Royal commentator Robert Jobson says there was uneasiness among senior members of the royal family about the Queen's decision, "but she insisted."

"It shows she wholeheartedly loves and believes her son," Jobson, the author of Prince Philip's Century. "As she did when she made a statement about Camilla being Queen's Consort, many people will now accept the Queen's word and judgment."

"It does make some sense that he accompany her because he doesn't have a partner. A settlement has been paid but he's guilty of nothing in the eyes of the law," he adds. "She has faith in Andrew. Even if he disappears from public life, he's been able to pay tribute to his father, who after all, was very proud of his service in the Royal Navy, where he fought in the Falkland Islands conflict."

Service of Thanksgiving for Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew. RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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There was also another change to Fergie's Instagram page over the weekend — she was verified by the social media platform. Princess Eugenie's page also gained a blue checkmark at the same time.

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