Action on Hearing Loss has today said its senior management “met directly” with Prince Andrew following his announcement that he would be stepping back from public duties, and said he will be leaving his role as patron “with immediate effect”.
The charity said they had agreed it would be “appropriate” for Prince Andrew to step down, but said that the Royal Family had offered “considerable support over many years”.
A statement from the charity reads: “On 21 November, our senior management met directly with HRH The Duke of York following his announcement that he would be stepping back from public duties. Prince Andrew has been our patron since 2013, succeeding HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who held the position from 1958.
“The charity’s board of trustees agreed that it would be appropriate for HRH The Duke of York to step down as our patron with immediate effect. We would like to thank the Royal Family for their considerable support over many years.”
This news comes after Buckingham Palace said it did “not expect” Prince Andrew to act as patron for any charity, after the Prince issued a statement which said he would “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future” as his “ill-judged association” with Jeffrey Epstein had become a “major disruption” to the work of many charities.
Prince Andrew is listed as patron to more than 200 charities and organisations, 24 of which are listed as children and young people’s organisations.
The prince spoke to BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis in an interview that was broadcast on Saturday 16 November. He said he had “let the side down” by staying at Epstein’s home, adding it was the “wrong thing to do” and not “becoming of a member of the Royal Family”.
Epstein 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.
Several charities have already publicly accepted his offer to step down, including The Outward Bound Trust, University of Huddersfield and English National Ballet.
Prince Andrew's role as chancellor at The University of Huddersfield had prompted a social media backlash from some students, who began tweeting with the hashtag #NotMyChancellor. Huddersfield Student Union voted on Monday evening to campaign for Prince Andrew’s resignation, before the Prince said he would withdraw his position.