The grand old Duke of York
Still, Andrew has not lost everything. He retains the title of “prince” from birth, and remains the Duke of York, which is a peerage. Under the law, both titles and peerages are forms of intangible property (incorporeal hereditaments). A general principle of law is that property cannot simply be seized from someone without prior legal authorisation. He also remains in the line of succession for the throne.
Again, we have to go back to 1917, this time to consider the example of the Titles Deprivation Act. This allowed for peerages and the title of “prince” to be removed from those “who have, during the present war, borne arms against His Majesty or His Allies, or who have adhered to His Majesty’s enemies”.
The Duke of Albany, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, and Duke of Brunswick all lost their peerages because they were officers in the German Army during the first world war. Similarly, for Andrew’s dukedom and title of prince to be removed, an act of parliament would be required. This is unlikely to be a priority for MPs at the moment.
Looking to the future, when Andrew dies, the dukedom will die with him, as he leaves no male heir. Traditionally, the peerage would go to the second eldest son of the monarch (the eldest son becomes Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cornwall). Perhaps when the time comes, Prince Louis may prefer another title to avoid any association with his great uncle.
Andrew also retains the position of Councillor of State. Should the Queen be unable to fulfil her formal legal duties due to illness, Councillors of State can fulfil those duties on her behalf. This is provided for by the Regency Acts 1937 to 1953, which specify that the first four in the line of succession of full age (which in this case is 21 not 18), are appointed as Councillors. That currently means Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew. Two are expected to act together, which if required, would be Prince Charles and Prince William. Again, for this to change, an act of parliament would be required.
There are other problems with the Regency Acts, making reform more likely in the near future, especially when Prince Charles becomes King. This would create the opportunity to more thoroughly address the position of both Prince Harry and Prince Andrew.
The dukedom and Andrew’s position as a Councillor of State mean that the separation of Prince Andrew from royal life is not entirely complete, but it is as far as the Queen can go for now. The rest is up to Parliament.