Prince Andrew resigns as patron of English National Ballet amid Epstein fallout, reports say

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra also confirms Duke of York is no longer a benefactor

Samuel Osborne
Friday 22 November 2019 17:34
Duke of York to step back from public duties over Epstein links

Prince Andrew has reportedly resigned as patron of the English National Ballet amid the ongoing controversy over his links to billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

It comes after the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra confirmed that the Duke of York was no longer its patron.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “Following HRH The Duke of York’s announcement that he will be stepping back from public life, management representatives of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) met with Prince Andrew’s office on Thursday afternoon.

“At a subsequent meeting of the RPO Board, it was decided that the orchestra should part company with its patron, with immediate effect.”

The orchestra thanked the prince for his support “over the past 15 years”.

A spokesperson for the English National Ballet told Sky News it had accepted the duke’s resignation “with immediate effect” and thanked him for 18 years of support.

Earlier this week Andrew announced he would be stepping back from public duties, in the wake of his interview with the BBC about his ties with Epstein.

On Thursday, the University of Huddersfield confirmed the Duke of York was stepping down from his role as chancellor following a student-led campaign to unseat him.

Andrew has also reportedly resigned from his role with his flagship business project PitchPalace.

The apparent move comes a day after a sponsor said his plans to continue leading the project were “not tenable”.

High profile business sponsors Barclays, KPMG, Standard Chartered and Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications company, have all said they will not be renewing their financial support for Pitch.

Andrew was expected to travel to the Middle East this weekend as part of his Pitch project but has cancelled plans following reported pressure from his family.

It has also been reported that his private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, has been removed from her palace-funded role and will instead become the chief executive of Pitch.

The Daily Mail said Ms Thirsk, believed to have been the driving force behind Andrew’s Newsnight interview, will now run the business mentorship scheme for start-ups and tech entrepreneurs after she was dismissed on Thursday.

Ms Thirsk will also manage the Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award after the duke quit his life as a working royal on Wednesday.

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