Prince Andrew gives up being a member of a prestigious golf club

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Prince Andrew has relinquished his honorary membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, one of the world’s most prestigious golf clubs, as he battles the sexual abuse allegations that forced him to retire from public life.

The club from St. Andrews, Scotland, announced the move on Friday, two weeks after Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and roles with charities in a US civil lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.

“I can confirm that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has received notification that the Duke of York will relinquish his Honorary Membership,” the club said in a statement. “We respect and appreciate his decision.”

Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, denies the allegations and has requested a jury trial in the case filed in federal court in New York.

The decision to remove Andrew’s military titles and charitable positions was made with the “approval and agreement” of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace said in a January 13 statement. The prince stepped down from royal duties two years ago after a disastrous BBC interview sparked criticism over his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and is defending this case as a private citizen,” the palace said earlier this month.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews was founded in 1754 and helped administer the rules of golf for 250 years until that role was given to another organization. It remains a private golf club with approximately 2,400 members worldwide.

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