What does Freedom of City mean as the Duke of York is stripped of his titles

What does Freedom of City mean, as Prince Andrew, the Duke of York loses his special honor following a vote by councillors

Freedom of City Prince Andrew
(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images)

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is stripped of Freedom of City after a unanimous vote from councilors of York.


It has recently been announced that Prince Andrew, one of the Queen's children, has been stripped of his Freedom of the City. According to the Labour MP for York Central, the Duke is the, "first to ever have their freedom removed" after the city listened to calls from the public to remove this privilege.

Although the Prince Andrew case is now settled, in February 2022 the Prince paid an undisclosed amount to  Virginia Giuffre after claims were made that he sexually assaulted her and people of York were unhappy with the Prince still having the highest honor associated with their city.

Liberal Democrat Darryl Smalley told the BBC that they now wanted to take this issue a step further and said the government and the Royal Family must, "step in to remove his title to finally end Prince Andrew's connection to York" if the prince "fails to do so."

The council member added, "Having been stripped of his military roles and royal patronages by the Queen, we believe that it is right to remove all links that Prince Andrew still has with our great city."

"I was pleased to see councillors of all parties support this motion and make it clear that it is no longer appropriate for Prince Andrew to represent York and its residents."

Prince Andrew

(Image credit: Getty)

What is a Freedom of City?

As the Duke of York, Prince Andrew was awarded the freedom of York City in 1987, shortly after he married Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

Having the freedom of a city is an honorary privilege that is given to certain people to recognize their contribution to the city. The honor is typically awarded to local residents, celebrities, distinguished people, or members of the Royal Family.

While the title is little more than an honorary privilege with no real power associated with it, the freedom of the city is an ancient award that entitled the individual with the right to march their military through this city. In the US there is a similar accolade referred to as the 'key to the city.'  

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.