The Queen Has Permitted Prince Andrew To Step Back From Public Duties Following Backlash From His Foundation’s Sponsors

A number of organisations severed ties with the Prince this week.

Prince Andrew

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Prince Andrew has released a public statement announcing that he is stepping back from public duties 'for the forseeable future' after requesting permission from the Queen. It comes after a number of organisations pulled their sponsorship of his mentoring project, Pitch@Palace.

'it has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work,' he said in the statement. 'Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties...and she has given her permission.'

Finally showing some sympathy for Epstein's victims, Andrew went on to say that he is 'willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agent with their investigations, if required.'

This follows a request by Gloria Allred, the lawyer representing five of Epstein's victims, who urged the Prince to contact US authorities 'without conditions and without delay'.

The news of his stepping down comes just a day after a Buckingham Palace letter from 2011 cast doubt on the on the timeline of Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein’s friendship. The letter, published on The Times website in March 2011, says that the two met in the early 1990’s not 1999 as Prince Andrew stated in his Newsnight interview.

It was sent by The Duke of York’s then private secretary Alastair Watson. At the time, it was meant to correct inaccurate reports about Andrew’s alleged friendship with Saif Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which was called into question after he was alleged to have met with him on four occasions– which the Palace refuted.

In the same letter, Watson acknowledged rumours about the Duke’s relationship with Epstein, stating that ‘the Duke has known Mr Epstein since being introduced to him in the early 1990s.’ One year later, in 2012, Watson resigned his role as private secretary to pursue a career in the private sector according to The Telegraph.

The date they met is one of many holes in Prince Andrew’s story about his friendship with Epstein. Since the Newsnight interview aired, many of his statements have been contested. In fact, the Daily Mail uncovered videos of Prince Andrew sweating and dancing with women in night clubs in 2007 and 2008, refuting his claim that he didn’t party, nor engaged in PDA and had a medical condition that stopped him from sweating.

And while this may not be the reason Prince Andrew has chosen to step back from public life, the organisations that have renounced their affiliation with him seem to be. His mentoring platform Pitch@Palace had multiple corporate backers who announced in the last week that they were choosing to withdraw support. In fact, the website page with a list of supporters has been taken down in the wake of so many withdrawals. The companies include the following:


Organisations severing ties with Prince Andrew - Grazia

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BT, which currently sponsor the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) that develops workplace skills, told Sky News they were 'reviewing' it's relationship with Prince Andrew and would continue the work 'in the event of a change in their patronage.'

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Bond University

Bond University was one of three universities in Australia to pull out of the Pitch@Palace partnership, taken down from the list of supporters on the website this week.

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KPMG, a global network of professional firms, also decided not to renew sponsorship of Pitch@Palace on Monday, again stating they decided this before the Newsnight interview. 'KPMG's sponsorship contract with Pitch@Palace finished at the end of October. A full programme of Pitch@Palace events is continuing across the United Kingdom,' a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

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Standard Chartered

International banking service Standard Chartered withdrew its support of Pitch@Palace yesterday, with the BBC reporting they made the decision before the Newsnight interview. 'I can confirm that we will not be renewing our sponsorship of Pitch@Palace when it expires at the end of the year,' a spokesperson told The Guardian.

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AstraZeneca, a pharmaceuticals company, announced they were reviewing their sponsorship of Pitch@Palace saying, 'our three-year partnership with Pitch@Palace is due to expire at the end of this year and is currently being reviewed.'

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University of Wollongong

University of Wollongong also choice to withdraw support of Pitch@Palace.

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Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology was the final of the three to severe ties, with a number of UK universities reported to be considering their positions over ties with the Duke.

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Murdoch University

While Murdoch University, in Perth, is still listed as a partner, it told Sky News is was reviewing its support ahead of 2020.

Read More:

Prince Andrew’s Interview With BBC's Emily Maitlis Criticised By Viewers As ‘Rambling’ And ‘Contradictory’

A Woman Accusing Jeffrey Epstein Of Abuse Has Urged Prince Andrew To 'Come Clean'

As Backlash Towards Prince Andrew Grows, Everyone Is Asking…Where Is Ghislaine Maxwell?

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