Charities monitoring Prince Andrew ties after Epstein interview 

19 Nov 2019 News

Prince Andrew

Creative Commons: Thorne1983

Charities have said they are monitoring their ties with Prince Andrew following allegations about his relationship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Prince spoke to BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis in an interview that was broadcast on Saturday. He said he had “let the side down” by staying at Epstein’s home, adding it was the “wrong thing to do”. He added that it was not “becoming of a member of the Royal Family”.

Epstein had pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution and was awaiting trial for allegedly paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sex acts, before he was found dead in his prison cell.

Prince Andrew is patron to more than 200 charities and organisations, 24 of which are listed as children and young people’s organisations.

When contacted by Civil Society News, the Jubilee Sailing Trust said its trustees will be discussing Prince Andrew’s role as patron at the charity's December board meeting.  

Meanwhile, Power2, a youth development charity working with children and young people in disadvantaged areas, said it was monitoring the situation. “Power2 is conscious of the Duke of York's recent TV interview, subsequent media coverage and previous statements from Buckingham Palace regarding the Jeffrey Epstein allegations.

“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.”

The NSPCC has distanced itself from the royal, saying: “Prince Andrew was a patron of the NSPCC Full Stop Campaign, which ended in 2009.”

The Golf Foundation 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 are staying tight-lipped by refusing to comment or not responding to questions from Civil Society News. 

University faces student campaign

Prince Andrew's role as chancellor at The University of Huddersfield has prompted a social media backlash from some students, who have begun tweeting with the hashtag #NotMyChancellor. Huddersfield Student Union voted on Monday evening to campaign for Prince Andrew’s resignation.

A university spokesperson said: “HRH The Duke of York has long ties with the University stretching back to his first visit in 2001. He became its Patron in 2013 and was then conferred as chancellor in 2015.  

“As chancellor, he has taken a keen interest in the work of the university and has represented it in his official capacity on numerous occasions.  

“His enthusiasm for innovation and entrepreneurship is a natural fit with the work of the University and every year the University of Huddersfield organises The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards, which are promoted across universities throughout the North of England.  

“In relation to the allegations, the Palace has previously issued an emphatic denial and this was reiterated in the BBC interview with The Duke of York and we have nothing further to add.”

Prince Andrew is also involved with The Prince Andrew Charitable Trust, which makes donations to charitable bodies where The Duke has a particular link or interest.

This includes “charities focused on supporting young people, sensory and healthcare issues, science, technology and engineering, and the participation of the disabled and wounded servicemen and women in sporting activities”.

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