Prince Andrew quietly removed as patron of almost 50 organisations

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is introduced to ballerinas by managing director Craig Hassall at the English National Ballet's summer party - Ian Gavan / Getty Images Europe
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The Duke of York has been tacitly or publicly removed as patron of nearly 50 organizations, The Telegraph may reveal, despite his express intention to someday return to public life.
The proportion of his charities and organizations believed to be at least one in four who chose to sever ties with the Duke after his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein underscores the extent of the damage to his reputation .
Many, especially those who work with children, found it “no longer appropriate” to continue their connections with him. Others said they were determined to find a representative who "better fits their goals and values".
When the 61-year-old Duke announced on November 20, 2019 that he was "stepping down from public duties for the foreseeable future" after the excitement over his disastrous Newsnight interview, many of his charities were in a difficult position.
Board meetings were called and hectic phone calls were made. Some decided to end their association with immediate effect.
These included the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, the Golf Foundation, the Children’s Foundation, the Outward Bound Trust and the British Science Association.
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children's Fund said, "We felt that as a child charity it was not appropriate for him to remain a patron."
Other organizations such as the Berkshire County Cricket Club, the Society for Nautical Research, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, and the Whitgift School in Croydon also severed ties.
The Duke of York and Sir Patrick Stewart during the Duke's appointment as new West Yorkshire University Chancellor in 2015 - Lynne Cameron / PA
Around 200 charities are to be supported by the duke. Of around 150 people contacted by the Telegraph, 47 confirmed that they had ended their affiliation with it. Many declined to respond or chose not to comment, suggesting that the subject remains very sensitive.
The majority of those who had disconnected said they had not replaced him yet. However, many said they had hoped to recruit people who were better suited to their goals.
Only three, the British Science Association, the Council of British International Schools and the Tall Ships Youth Trust, said they contacted Buckingham Palace in hopes of finding a new royal patron.
The Royal Alberta United Services Institute, a Canada-based think tank, said work is underway to replace the Duke "with someone better suited and engaged with his mission."
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and York Minster Fund have confirmed that they have replaced the Duke as royal patron with his brother, the Prince of Wales.
Others felt they should cut ties with the Duke, but felt unable to do so as he had not been charged or convicted of a crime. Rather than formally parting, they quietly removed his portrait from the wall, deleted his name from their website, and in one case even hid a plaque with his name behind a plant.
Those who acknowledge that they have maintained their ties with the Duke despite accepting that he cannot carry out any activity on their behalf include the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, the Friends of the Staffordshire Regiment, the Morayvia Aerospace Center and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
The Telegraph's investigation revealed that Buckingham Palace's lack of contact with the 2019 events had created significant confusion.
Several organizations that had not heard directly from the Duke's office believed that he had actually resigned when he resigned.
Fire Sport UK assumed that the Duke had resigned from his position and would therefore be notified in due time who would take on the role.
The Liver Research Foundation also said that "based on the announcement that came from Buckingham Palace," it was their understanding that he was no longer their patron.
Tim Ward, a trustee of Friends of Lakefield College School, which the Duke attended in 1978, said when the Duke resigned for the foreseeable future, "we were really considering ending the patronage." It has been duly removed from its website and note paper.
A Buckingham Palace source admitted that the Duke's individual patronages had not been contacted directly. "The Duke of York's announcement that he was stepping down from his public duties attracted widespread attention and many patronages quickly made contact," they said.
"Since then, patronages who want to discuss the impact on their business have been treated as they came into being."
Many charities found that the royal family's website, which lists the duke as the patron of 136 charities and organizations, was completely out of date. Many are not included, while other associations ended some time before the Epstein riot.
The Duke became friends with Epstein in the late 1990s through his longstanding relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the nefarious tycoon Robert Maxwell.
He was forced to resign as the UK's trade ambassador in 2011 after a photo of the Duke Epstein meeting in New York's Central Park appeared shortly after the billionaire was released from prison after serving an 18-month sentence for sex offenses.
However, his crash was sparked by his disastrous Newsnight interview, in which he insisted he couldn't remember meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein's victims who claims she was abducted to the UK and forced to have sex to have with the Duke. The Duke has always denied these claims.
He said it later became clear that the circumstances of his previous association with Epstein had become "a major disruption" to his family's work and that he had therefore asked the Queen's permission to "resign from public duties for the foreseeable future" . .
The beleaguered king had hired the UK's top legal team to fend off an FBI investigation into his friendship with the convicted pedophile.
He was under significant pressure to speak to the FBI and insisted that he cooperate with the investigation.
Royal aides have insisted there will be no going back until he can clear his name.
A spokesman for the Duke of York declined to comment.
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Jeffrey Epstein

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