Prince Andrew’s out of court settlement with his sexual assault accuser halts the highly damaging US legal battle, but effectively ends the royal career of Queen Elizabeth’s second, and reportedly favourite, son. The 61-year-old prince has become a virtual recluse since a disastrous televised attempt in 2019 to defend himself from the allegations by Virginia Giuffre as well as his associations with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Humiliatingly stripped of his honorary military titles and charitable roles last month amid the US civil case – even losing the “His Royal Highness” title he was given at birth – he has been left with no official public role. Businesses and charities had already distanced themselves from his projects while he had stepped back from frontline royal duties in 2019. Fired by his own mother However, the monarchy’s removal of his titles in January was the clearest indication yet that it sees links to Andrew, the Duke of York, as permanently damaging to the centuries-old institution. Meet India Hicks, Prince Charles’ cousin and Princess Diana’s bridesmaid Settling the US lawsuit now for an unspecified sum is unlikely to change that view or improve his heavily tarnished reputation. “It does of course, I assume, mean we will never know whether Andrew was innocent or guilty,” Penny Junor, author of numerous books on the British monarchy, said. “And that, I think, in itself means that he will never be able to go back to any kind of royal work.” Fall from grace The situation is a remarkable fall from grace for the once popular royal, who was hailed a hero when he flew as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot during the 1982 Falklands War. Internationally, he was best known for his 1986 wedding to Sarah Ferguson , boosting support for the royal family five years after his elder brother Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. Andrew Albert Christian Edward Windsor was born on February 19, 1960 at Buckingham Palace – the second son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. As a young man, Andrew was seen as one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and even dubbed “Randy Andy” by the tabloid press before settling down with the fun-loving redhead “Fergie”. The couple had two daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, but divorced in 1996. A bad reputation Andrew left the navy in 2001 and became a special government trade envoy, earning a new nickname – “Air Miles Andy” – as he jetted around the world at taxpayers’ expense. Princess Cristina of Spain’s turbulent life, from divorce to losing a title Questions were asked about his judgment after links to the families of various dictators, and he faced repeated claims of being brash, arrogant and rude. But his playboy reputation – and links to the disgraced multimillionaire Epstein – have come back to haunt him. Maxwell’s conviction in the United States for procuring minors for Epstein to abuse further damaged Andrew. Even though the charges did not relate to him or Giuffre, his accuser was frequently mentioned. “He’s now perceived as a one-time close friend with not only a convicted paedophile, but also a convicted sex trafficker,” wrote Majesty magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward. What happens now? In the meantime, he has been seen either at his 95-year-old mother’s Windsor Castle home west of London, or on the royal estate in Balmoral, northeast Scotland. Initially, the queen swiftly removed him from official duties while not pushing him out of the family circle entirely and has reportedly covered his legal costs. 7 things to know about Monaco’s ‘Pink Palace’, home of Princess Charlene Andrew is occasionally photographed driving or riding a horse around royal estates. He did not appear in official photographs of Beatrice’s 2020 wedding , even though he walked her down the aisle. His 2019 BBC television interview was seen as a PR disaster and he was criticised for arrogance and a lack of compassion for Epstein’s victims. He has also faced constant ridicule after countering a claim that he had been “profusely sweating” during the alleged encounter with Giuffre, saying he could not sweat because of a medical condition. Instead, Tuesday’s settlement means the case will no longer go to trial and Andrew will not be questioned under oath by Giuffre’s lawyers. But for Penny Junor, the royal author, the damage done by the 2019 interview is irreparable. “I think his reputation will never recover,” she noted. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .