Following Prince Andrew’s announcement that he will “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future”, trustees at several charities have accepted his resignation while others will be assessing his role as patron.
Prince Andrew issued a statement explaining that his “ill-judged association” with Jeffrey Epstein has become a “major disruption” to the work of many organisations and charities.
Given this, The Outward Bound Trust said it would accept his resignation, but thanked the royal for his support. The charity said: “The board of The Outward Bound Trust has today accepted the resignation as Patron of HRH The Duke of York following his announcement yesterday that he will be withdrawing from public duties for the foreseeable future.
“The board of The Outward Bound Trust thanks HRH The Duke of York for his support over many years.”
The University of Huddersfield Students' Union has said it welcomes the Prince’s decision to step down, and said it “received confirmation from the university that the Duke has stepped down from his position with immediate effect to allow the University to appoint a new chancellor”.
It said that there was a plan in place to meet formally on 25 November to share an open letter written by the officers asking the university to “take relevant steps”, as actions taken by The Duke of York does “not uphold the standards expected” by students.
It said: “We know that students will welcome this decision, and the students’ union would like to offer our sympathy to the victims of Epstein and all those affected by sexual abuse across the world.”
It added: “We look forward to welcoming a new chancellor who puts students’ values at the heart of everything they do.”
Waiting for trustee meeting
Nonetheless, several other charities told Civil Society News that they had not made firm decisions on the Prince’s status at their charities going forward, and were waiting to meet with trustees.
The Council of British International Schools said it was a “following the situation closely”, while Power2, a youth development charity, said it was “conscious” of the Duke of York’s recent TV interview, subsequent media coverage and previous statements from Buckingham Palace regarding Jeffrey Epstein allegations.
It added: “Our position is unchanged for the present: we will continue to monitor the situation closely and we are unable to provide further comment at this time.”
Similarly, The Golf Foundation said they had no further statement, but previously said: “HRH the Duke of York has been a valued patron of this charity and a supporter of golf. We are monitoring the situation closely and will discuss it with the stakeholders we serve and our board of trustees.”
Other charities such as Action on Hearing Loss and Children North East have yet to release statements on his position at their charities.