THE Prince of Wales refused to answer questions about his younger brother’s position as he toured a storm-lashed country estate the day after the Duke of York was stripped of his honorary military titles and gave up his HRH style.

On Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace announced the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.

The move came after a judge in America threw out Andrew’s motion to dismiss a civil sexual assault case against him, and ruled it can go to trial.

Charles, who is the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, was pressed on the issue by a reporter as he met people involved in the clear-up operation after Storm Arwen in the north east of Scotland.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew no longer 'Your Highness' ahead of civil 'sex assault' case

A reporter asked him for his view on Andrew’s position – but the Prince of Wales ignored the question, and went on to shake hands with some of those he was there to meet in the storm-hit country estate.

Between 500,000 and one million trees were uprooted on the Haddo Estate in Aberdeenshire at the end of November as winds of up to 100mph tore through the area.

The National:

The visit took place less than 24 hours after Buckingham Palace announced the Duke of York had been stripped of his honorary military roles (Kami Thomson/DCT Media/PA)

Efforts to clear the once-dense woodlands of fallen trees ahead of replanting have only just begun.

The National:

The Prince of Wales saw some of the damage caused by the storm (Kami Thomson/DCT Media/PA)

Charles spoke to landscape manager, Oliver Deeming, and head of visitor services, Suzanna Atkinson, as he walked the “Scots Mile” road towards the National Trust for Scotland property at the centre of the estate, Haddo House.

At the house, the prince met representatives from Aberdeenshire Council, the police and power provider SSEN to hear about the impact of Storm Arwen and the state of recovery efforts.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew to face trial after judge throws out his attempts to dismiss case

The country park is currently closed to visitors for safety reasons due to the storm damage.

A local resident said Charles’s visit was the first day for some time that the sound of chainsaws was not ringing out around the area.

The visit also took place after the Prime Minister’s former director of communications issued an apology over a No 10 party held the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

James Slack, who until last year was Boris Johnson’s director of communications, apologised on Friday morning for the “anger and hurt” his leaving party in April 2021 had caused.

The Daily Telegraph had reported that advisers and civil servants gathered after work for two separate events on April 16 2021, as the country was in a period of mourning after the death of Prince Philip.