The Duke of York’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, shared a series of Instagram posts on the royal’s behalf using his banned “His Royal Highness” title before it was deleted hours later.
In the message, the 62-year-old reflected on the 40th anniversary of his leaving to serve in the Falklands War with the Royal Navy. During that time, Andrew flew missions as a Sea King helicopter pilot. In the since-deleted message, Queen Elizabeth II’s son said he entered the war “full of bravado” and returned “a changed man.”
The post was “written by HRH The Duke of York,” which raised eyebrows. In January, the queen stripped Andrew of his military affiliations and royal patronages in the wake of his legal battle with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
While Andrew would retain his title as duke, as well as maintain his place in the line of succession to the throne, he can no longer use “His Royal Highness” in any official capacity.
Soon after the message was posted, it was amended to remove “HRH” ahead of Andrew’s Duke of York title. The posts were then deleted altogether.
Reps for Buckingham Palace didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Ferguson, 62, had no comment.
The post, which included a throwback photo of Andrew in uniform, had a message that read: “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.”
“So whilst I think back to a day when a young man went to war, full of bravado, I returned a changed man,” the note continued. “I put away childish things and false bravado and returned a man full in the knowledge of human frailty and suffering.”
Andrew and Ferguson tied the knot in 1986. They called it quits in 1996 but kept a close relationship as they raised their two daughters: Princess Beatrice, 33, and Princess Eugenie, 32.
On March 29, Andrew accompanied the queen, 95, for a service of thanksgiving honoring his late father, Prince Philip. The reigning monarch’s choice of escort was seen as support for her son after he settled a lawsuit linked to his relationship with the late convicted sex offender.
Andrew’s role underscored that he is still a member of the royal family, even after the scandal rocked the palace.
“This was the queen endorsing Andrew after he paid millions to a woman he says he has no recollection of ever meeting,” royal analyst Peter Hunt wrote on Twitter. “Either Charles and William didn’t intervene – or they did and failed to stop the prince performing such a high profile role at his father’s memorial service.’’
Andrew strenuously denied Giuffre’s allegations after she sued him. She accused the British royal of sexually abusing her while she traveled with Epstein in 2001 when she was 17.
Giuffre, 38, reached the settlement with Andrew after the judge rejected the prince’s bid to win early dismissal of the lawsuit earlier this year.
In a letter to the judge from Giuffre’s attorney David Boies, a statement was included that said, in part: “Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.”
According to the statement, Andrew acknowledged that Epstein trafficked “countless young girls” over many years and said the prince “regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”
He also pledged to support the victims of sex trafficking as part of demonstrating his regret.
Giuffre asserted that she met Andrew while she traveled frequently with Epstein between 2000 and 2002, when her lawyers maintain she was “on call for Epstein for sexual purposes” and was “lent out to other powerful men,” including Andrew.
Her lawsuit said she suffered significant emotional and psychological distress and harm. She has alleged she had sex with Andrew three times: in London during a 2001 trip, at Epstein’s New York mansion when she was 17 and in the Virgin Islands when she was 18.
Andrew repeatedly denied Giuffre’s allegations and has said he can’t recall ever meeting her, although a photograph of Giuffre and Andrew together in a London townhouse, his arm around her bare midriff, was included in Giuffre’s lawsuit against him.
Inconsistencies in her statements over the years that would have been highlighted by Andrew’s attorneys at trial may have motivated her, in part, to settle, though she has explained them as innocent mistakes that occurred when recalling traumatic events years later.
Andrew spent years combating concerns about his links with Epstein, the U.S. financier who took his life at age 66 in 2019 in a Manhattan federal lockup while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Epstein’s longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of related charges last month.
A settlement of the Andrew lawsuit would follow deals reached by Giuffre years ago to resolve separate lawsuits against Maxwell and Epstein. It was recently revealed that Epstein settled for $ 500,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.