There was no waiting to see if Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, could clear his name in court. He's already lost the use of his HRH, and his military links have been severed.
"Brutal," tweeted royal commentator Peter Hunt. "The Windsors have shown that when the institution is under threat, dynastic preservation trumps flesh and blood."
It could also be seen as inevitable. Rather than facing endless awkward questions about Prince Andrew's future, Buckingham Palace has made a pre-emptive strike, effectively announcing that he will never return to an official royal role.
The royal statement, in two short sentences, moves him from 61 years as a public figure to a "private citizen".
Separate to the merits of the civil court case, from a reputational perspective this story has been like a leaking supertanker gushing out bad news, and the Royal Family want to stop any more from washing up on its shores.
Royal historian Robert Lacey described it as Prince Andrew being "de-royalled".
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