Queen Elizabeth II is turning to her heir amid Prince Andrew’s ongoing sexual assault case.

Royal expert Kristin Contino recently made this claim, saying the reigning monarch has been relying on Prince William for advice. Contino also says the Duke of Cambridge was involved in the decision to strip his uncle of his military affiliations and royal patronages.

"William, in fact, was very involved in this decision, and it’s been said that he met with the queen in person ahead of their announcement that came out last week," Contino reported to Us Weekly. "I think that really shows – and I think that’s interesting – his growing influence and how she trusts his judgment and is looking for his advice.

"And I think that’s a great sign of things to come for William and how much she is relying on talking to him and his counsel," Contino added.


Prince William Prince Andrew

Royal author Kristin Contino claimed Prince William (left) was involved in Queen Elizabeth II's decision to strip Prince Andrew's (right) military affiliations and royal patronages amid his legal battle with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. (Getty Images)

William is second in line to the British throne after his father Prince Charles. Over the years, the 39-year-old has taken on numerous charitable activities, projects and official duties in support of his grandmother, 95.

"Charles, of course, was involved in that decision too," the author told the outlet. "But I think [what] a lot of people thought was interesting is William’s heavy involvement in that. So I think she really is leaning on her two heirs at this time [to] help make those sort of big family decisions."

On Jan. 13, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement sent to Fox News that the queen agreed to accept the returned accolades from Andrew, 61.

"With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen," the statement said. "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."


Prince Andrew Virginia Roberts

This photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre, who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein's girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)

One royal source also claimed that the Duke of York will no longer use "His Royal Highness," or HRH, in any official capacity.

Previously, a judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the British prince by the American woman who said he sexually abused her when she was 17.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected an argument by Andrew’s attorneys that Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out at an early stage because of a legal settlement she had with Epstein, the late American financier she claimed set up sexual encounters with the royal, who is now 61. Kaplan said the $500,000 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre didn’t involve the prince and didn’t bar a suit against him.


Virginia Roberts Giuffre

Virginia Roberts Giuffre holds a photo of herself at age 16, when she says Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein began abusing her sexually.  (Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Giuffre, now 38, sued Andrew in August, alleging she was coerced into sexual encounters with him in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, at Epstein’s New York mansion and his estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Andrew’s lawyers had said the lawsuit lacked specificity and was disqualified by the deal she reached in 2009 with lawyers for Epstein. They also attacked Giuffre’s credibility and motives, saying in October that the lawsuit was aimed at achieving "another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him." Kaplan said Giuffre’s complaint is neither "unintelligible" nor "vague" nor "ambiguous."

Kaplan noted that he was required by law, at this stage of the litigation, to assume Giuffre’s allegations are true, though the prince’s lawyers could cast doubt on the truth of the claims at trial. The judge has said a trial would not occur until late this year, at the earliest. Depositions of the prince and Giuffre would take place before then.


Prince Andrew Scandal

Prince Andrew quit public duties in November 2019. (Reuters/Neil Hall)

Andrew has long denied Giuffre’s allegations. In late 2019, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight that sex with Giuffre "didn’t happen" and he has "no recollection" of ever meeting her. His statements led critics to say he seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims. After the nuclear interview, Andrew stepped back from public duties.

Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein was reached a decade before the 66-year-old financier killed himself at a Manhattan federal lockup as he awaited a sex trafficking trial in 2019. Epstein’s death came more than two years before his former girlfriend, Maxwell, 60, was convicted of sex trafficking and conspiracy charges in Manhattan federal court. Giuffre’s allegations against Andrew were not part of the criminal cases against Epstein or Maxwell.

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 still suffers significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.