Prince William Dodges Reporter's Question About His Uncle Prince Andrew During Charity Outing

·3 min read
The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit The Foundling Museum
The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit The Foundling Museum

Chris Jackson/Getty Images Prince William

Prince William offered no comment when asked about his uncle Prince Andrew, who was stripped of his royal patronages and military affiliations amid a sexual assault lawsuit against him.

Prince William, 39, and Kate Middleton, 40, visited the Foundling Museum — which tells the story of the 18th-century Foundling Hospital, the U.K.'s first children's charity — on Wednesday. As the couple was heading out, ITV reporter Chris Ship asked William, "Your Royal Highness, can I just ask, do you support Prince Andrew?"

"Sorry, I can't hear you," Prince William said as he leaned in closer.

"Do you support Prince Andrew?" the reporter repeated.

Prince William did not reply and returned his attention to exiting the building as a woman thanked the couple for coming.

RELATED: Why Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew Are 'Likely' to Receive Jubilee Medals from the Queen

William is not the first royal to avoid questions regarding Prince Andrew. One day after it was announced that Andrew had lost his military affiliations and patronages, Prince Charles stepped out in Aberdeenshire and was asked about the scandal.

"Your Royal Highness, can I ask your view on your brother's position, Prince Andrew?" the reporter said. "How do you view it?"

Prince Charles, 73, ignored the question and proceeded to shake hands and converse with another man.

The decision to strip Prince Andrew of his patronages and military titles was "widely discussed" within the senior ranks of the royal family, a royal source confirms to PEOPLE — likely meaning talks between Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William.

Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh

Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images Prince Andrew

After a judge rejected Prince Andrew's attempt to have a sexual assault lawsuit against him thrown out, Buckingham Palace released a statement on Thursday regarding Andrew's royal status.

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

Prince Andrew, 61, will likely retain his title as the Duke of York and keep his place in the line of succession to the throne, which is currently ninth behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's two children. However, he will no longer use the style "His Royal Highness" in any official capacity.

Prince Andrew's attorneys argued last week to dismiss Virginia Roberts Giuffre's sexual assault lawsuit after it was revealed that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein reached a $500,000 settlement with Giuffre, in which she agreed not to sue any other "potential defendant."

Giuffre alleges she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew at the age of 17. Andrew has denied any wrongdoing.

In a previous statement shared with PEOPLE, Giuffre said, "I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one's life by speaking out and demanding justice."