The TOXIC Duke: Standard Chartered is latest big name firm to cut ties with Prince Andrew

The future of Prince Andrew

Five multi-million pound businesses have cut ties with Prince Andrew’s main charity as they tried to distance themselves from the crisis-hit royal after his car crash BBC interview, MailOnline can reveal today.

AdWeek Europe, which has supported the Pitch@Palace project and was hailed an official supporter by the prince, is the latest company to pull its backing for the beleaguered duke.

Bosses will not be inviting the Duke of York or his team to its four-day summit in London next March – one of the world’s largest annual gatherings of advertising executives and experts.

A spokesman said: ‘While our support for entrepreneurs remains just as strong, we can confirm that Pitch@Palace will not be held as part of Advertising Week Europe 2020’.

Andrew’s supporters are in full retreat today with the future of his Dragons’ Den-inspired charity now looking precarious over the Epstein scandal and claims he had sex with his 17-year-old ‘slave’ three times. 

Earlier today Standard Chartered revealed to MailOnline that its bosses have decided they will not be renewing its sponsorship when it ends in February.  

Pitch@Palace has been forced to delete the webpage hailing its 35 key backers – and five including KPMG have now confirmed they will no longer work with him. Two more are formally considering whether to quit after his BBC disaster. 

Murdoch University in Australia has joined London Metropolitan University in reviewing links with the royal and the University of Huddersfield says it is now ‘listening’ to students raging over the decision to back him as Chancellor.

The future of Prince Andrew's pet project Pitch@Palace appears in jeopardy as yet another major supporter, Standard Chartered, pulled the plug and their financial support

The future of Prince Andrew’s pet project Pitch@Palace appears in jeopardy as yet another major supporter, Standard Chartered, pulled the plug and their financial support

These are the 35 businesses and that support business start-up project: Pitch@Palace with 5 now pulling their support or not doing any more work for them. MailOnline is contacting all of them to establish their position

Pitch@Palace's supporters page, which contained the logos of its 35 biggest funders, has been deleted as multi-million pound businesses wanted away

Pitch@Palace’s supporters page, which contained the logos of its 35 biggest funders, has been deleted as multi-million pound businesses wanted away

Prince Andrew (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC's Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

Prince Andrew (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC’s Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

The 35 businesses that sponsor Andrew’s charity – and the companies now pulling out after BBC disaster

Cutting ties 

KPMG

Standard Chartered

Aon 

Gravity Road 

AW Europe

Staying put

Stelios Foundation

Barclays 

Considering position

AstraZeneca 

Murdoch University 

Yet to respond

Bosch

Air Asia

Bank of China

JD.com

Li Ka Shing Foundation

Tencent

Business Horizon International Group

InMotion

Arm

China Construction bank

Hult business school

Royal Academy of Engineering

Bond University 

RMIT University

University of Wollongong

Halkin Ventures

IMB Bank

Woodside

Tamkeen

Fondation Rideau Hall

The Chosunilbo

Khalifa Fund 

Fieldhouse 

IX

KPMG, one of London’s big four accounting firms, was the first company to end its £100,000-a-year sponsorship last night in the face of ‘adverse publicity’. Insurance giant Aon then asked for its name to be removed from the scheme’s website and drugs maker AstraZeneca then said it was reviewing its relationship.

There are also major doubts over Andrew’s links to 189 charities in the UK and abroad with several refusing to say if the prince has their support because of his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and claims he had sex with his ‘slave’ Virginia Roberts.

Andrew is a patron of the Outward Bound Trust [OBT] after he inherited the role from his father Prince Philip and the charity is holding a special meeting to discuss the issue later this week. The prince’s daughter Beatrice is a trustee but will be excluded from taking part. 

The University of Huddersfield is the only organisation to vocally back their Chancellor – but this has sparked insurrection among students who are lobbying Andrew to resign with a ‘Not my Chancellor’ campaign on campus and a major vote later this week. 

And London Metropolitan University told MailOnline this afternoon they will review whether to keep Andrew as a patron at its next Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, November 26. 

As Prince Andrew found himself out in the cold after his BBC interview disaster, it has emerged: 

  • Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged trafficking victim Virginia Roberts pictured by MailOnline in Australia as it is reveals she filmed an interview with the BBC three weeks ago; 
  • Outraged students at the University of Huddersfield are lobbying Andrew to resign as chancellor after angry row after institution backed him;
  • Standard Chartered and KPMG pull the plug on sponsorship of the Duke’s Dragons’ Den-style start up scheme – while Aon and AstraZeneca also reviewing relationship;
  • Children’s charities and education organisations also distance themselves from their patron;
  • Epstein accuser says the financier used Prince Andrew as BAIT to get her to his private island when she was 15;
  • Growing calls from politicians for ‘disgraceful’ Prince Andrew to fly to the US to face FBI investigators and give evidence as his role in public life looks increasingly precarious;  
  • A poll found that just 6 per cent of the public believe his explanation for his relationship with Epstein;

KPMG, one of London’s big four accounting firms, was the first to admit it was protecting its reputation by ending its £100,000 a year sponsorship.

Insurance giant Aon asked for its name be removed from the scheme’s website and drugs maker AstraZeneca said it was reviewing its relationship.  

Children’s charities and schools linked to Prince Andrew are also in disarray today as they distanced themselves from the under-fire royal. 

A string of major companies and charities are also examining their links with Andrew after his extraordinary TV interview on Saturday. 

Children North East and The Children’s Foundation, both charities Andrew lists on his official website, refused to tell MailOnline if he will keep his official role supporting them in light of the Epstein scandal.

The Council of British International Schools [COBIS] praised the duke’s work with them since 2011 but also refused to say if their link with the prince remains today. 

Jeffrey Epstein’s sex slave Virginia Roberts has filmed a BBC interview she will use to shatter Prince Andrew’s denials they ever had sex when she was 17 as the royal’s woes got worse today.

The 35-year-old, who calls the Duke of York her ‘abuser’, spoke to Panorama before he spoke publicly for the first time to say they never met or had sex – even suggesting the world-famous picture of them together in London in 2001 could have been faked.

A source close to Ms Roberts says she ‘made no bones about her thoughts on the Duke’s denial’ during her sit-down with Panorama, in which she is said to demand he ‘comes clean’.

But she is said to be irate that her own interview has not been shown amid suggestions it was held back to ensure Andrew’s sit-down with Emily Maitlis wasn’t jeopardised – but BBC insiders claim it will form a wider Epstein investigation that is not yet ready to broadcast.

US-born Ms Roberts, who now uses her married surname Giuffre, spoke to Panorama in the US three weeks ago – but may have to be interviewed again to respond to the duke’s bizarre alibis including being in Pizza Express on the night she claims they had sex in London. 

Andrew also denied he allegations he ‘sweated profusely’ during intercourse by claiming he couldn’t perspire for more than 20 years after an adrenaline-rush while being shot at in the Falklands War.   

Jeffrey Epstein's trafficking victim Virginia Roberts stepped out in public in Cairns on Tuesday after filming an interview set to challenge Prince Andrew's denials they ever had sex

Jeffrey Epstein’s trafficking victim Virginia Roberts stepped out in public in Cairns on Tuesday after filming an interview set to challenge Prince Andrew’s denials they ever had sex

This controversial picture allegedly shows Virginia Roberts, as she then was, with Prince Andrew in early 2001. The prince says he has no memory of them meeting

Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell before he could face charges of sex trafficking

Virginia claims she had sex with Prince Andrew after billionaire Jeffrey Epstein (right) allegedly trafficked her to the UK. She says a picture was taken of her with Andrew (left) in early 2001. The prince denies all knowledge of having met her

Support for Andrew is ebbing away after his interview with Emily Maitlis, which he is believed to have said was a 'great success' - but many disagree

Support for Andrew is ebbing away after his interview with Emily Maitlis, which he is believed to have said was a ‘great success’ – but many disagree

Prince ‘I-didn’t-party-or-do-PDAs’ Andrew is pictured doing plenty of both 

Photos show Prince Andrew enjoying the attentions of several women. In this photo, taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who licks him

Photos show Prince Andrew enjoying the attentions of several women. In this photo, taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who licks him

In his BBC interview, Prince Andrew claimed he had ‘never really partied’ – and is averse to public displays of affection – as he rebutted allegations he had sex with Virginia Roberts.

But a number of images have resurfaced, showing him letting his hair down at wild parties and frolicking with several glamorous young women. On BBC’s Newsnight special, the Duke of York insisted that he had no idea why he had been dubbed the ‘party prince’.

He said: ‘I don’t know why I’ve collected that title because I don’t … I never have really partied.’ He added: ‘I was single for quite a long time in the early 80s but after I got married I was very happy and I’ve never really felt the need to go and party and certainly going to Jeffrey [Epstein]’s was not about partying, absolutely not.’

He also hinted that the controversial 2001 photograph of him holding 17-year-old Miss Roberts around the waist might be fake as he was not ‘one to hug’. He said: ‘I’m terribly sorry but if I, as a member of the Royal Family, and I have a photograph taken and I take very, very few photographs, I am not one to, as it were, hug and public displays of affection are not something that I do.’

But footage and snaps of the dishevelled prince at parties, some without his suit jacket and with his shirt untucked, would suggest otherwise.

The duke can be seen at several soirees in the late 2000s on the French Riviera partying with women. He was pictured in July 2007 at a party in Saint-Tropez embracing a number of women including socialite Chris Von Aspen, who he holds by the waist. 

Andrew appeared on BBC Newsnight to answer questions about his relationship with Epstein, a paedophile billionaire who killed himself in jail.

The interview went down spectacularly badly however and the backlash grew yesterday when an Epstein victim went public at a dramatic press conference. She said the financier had tried to lure her to his private island by saying Andrew was there.

Her lawyer joined the international clamour for Andrew to face the US authorities and tell them everything he knows.

Sources today said the Royal Family has been left reeling by the fallout from the BBC interview and the renewed criticism from Epstein’s victims.

While insiders were keen not to be seen to be criticising Andrew, it was clear that his wider family were ‘aghast’ at the interview and the subsequent reaction. ‘People are shaking their heads and wondering where to go from here,’ said one.

Another former royal aide has called for the prince to ‘take a sabbatical’ before irreversible damage is done to the charities and organisations he works with.

Questions remain as to how much the Queen knew and whether she sanctioned the interview. Palace officials repeated their line that she had been ‘aware’ of the interview but refused to be drawn on whether she had approved it.

On a disastrous day for the eighth in line to the throne pressure centred on the charity that he sees as a lifeline to repairing his public reputation.

During Saturday’s ‘make or break’ appearance on BBC’s Newsnight, Andrew flagged Pitch@Palace – a Dragons’ Den-style scheme for entrepreneurs – as a vital way of reconnecting with the public following the scandal. 

A royal aide yesterday described it as one of the few ‘real success stories’ of his life. But KPMG, one of Britain’s leading accountancy firms, revealed it had cut ties with the duke. The firm was a founding partner and had paid up to £100,000 a year in sponsorship since 2014.

KPMG bosses decided to end the relationship last month due to ‘unsavoury’ issues stemming from the duke’s friendship with Epstein. The decision was taken by the firm after consultation with its ‘risk committee’ that considers reputational issues.

The drugs giant Astrazeneca is considering its links to the Duke of York's Pitch@Palace following his Newsnight interview

The drugs giant Astrazeneca is considering its links to the Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace following his Newsnight interview 

Two officers on duty when paedophile Jeffrey Epstein took his own life ‘will face criminal charges’

Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he took his own life are expected to face criminal charges this week for falsifying prison records

 Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he took his own life are expected to face criminal charges this week for falsifying prison records

Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he took his own life are expected to face criminal charges this week for falsifying prison records.

The federal charges could come as soon as Tuesday and are the first in connection with Epstein´s death, sources told The Associated Press.

The wealthy financier, 66, died on August 10 at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls.

The officers on Epstein’s unit at the federal jail in New York City are suspected of failing to check on him every half-hour, as required, and of fabricating log entries to claim they had.   

Astrazeneca, which is a ‘strategic partner’, said it was reviewing its three-year relationship which is due to end next month.

Aon was listed as the initiative’s sole ‘global partner’ but sources insisted the company was not associated with Pitch@Palace and the listing was an error. 

It is understood that several firms were prompted to review their relationship with Andrew after he was again accused of having sex with a teenage victim of the billionaire financier earlier this year. He vehemently denies the claims.

A web page advertising Pitch@Palace’s sponsors was removed from the internet yesterday afternoon. The project has helped 931 businesses, created 5,982 jobs and generated £1.105billion of economic activity, according to Andrew’s team.

The Daily Mail yesterday contacted many other multinational companies linked to the scheme, including the bank Standard Chartered and Air Asia. 

But none gave their backing to the duke and instead refused to comment on their links. A KPMG spokesman refused to comment last night.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘KPMG’s contract with Pitch@Palace ended at the end of October. A full programme of Pitch@Palace events is continuing across the United Kingdom.’

KPMG has decided not to renew its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace, which is Prince Andrew's scheme for start-ups

KPMG has decided not to renew its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace, which is Prince Andrew’s scheme for start-ups 

189 charities and groups that count on Prince Andrew as a patron (including 28 golf clubs and societies!)

Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League

21st Doncaster Scout Group

Action on Hearing Loss

Alderney Maritime Trust

The Duke of York, Patron

Army Museums Ogilby Trust

Army Officers’ Golfing Society

Army Rifle Association

Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)

Attend (National Association of Hospital and Community Friends)

Aycliffe Centre for Young People

Badminton England

Badminton Wales (Welsh Badminton Union)

Baker Dearing Educational Trust

Berkshire County Cricket Club

Bermuda Sloop Foundation

British Deaf Association

British Exploring Society (BSES Expeditions)

British Science Association (formerly British Association for the Advancement of Science)

British-Kazakh Society

Broughton House Home for Ex-Service Personnel

California State Police

The Canadian Canoe Museum

Catalyst Inc

Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence

Children North East

City Gateway

Commonwealth Golfing Society

Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire

Constructionarium

Council of British International Schools (COBIS)

English National Ballet

Faldo Junior Series

Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel Trust

Falklands Conservation

Fight for Sight

Fire Service Sports and Athletics Association

Fly Navy Heritage Trust

Foundation for Liver Research

Friends of Lakefield College School

Friends of the Staffordshire Regiment

GBx

Golf Foundation

Greenwich Hospital

Grenadier Guards

H.M.S. Duke of York Association

Horris Hill School

Hunstanton Golf Club

Intercontinental Church Society

Interfaith Explorers

International Space Innovation Centre

Inverness Golf Club

Jubilee Sailing Trust

Killyleagh Yacht Club

Kohima Educational Trust

Lakefield College School

London Metropolitan University

Lucifer Golfing Society

Maimonides Interfaith Foundation

Malaria No More

Maple Bay Yacht Club

Marine Society and Sea Cadets

Morayvia Aerospace Centre

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Full Stop Campaign (NSPCC)

Nominet Trust

On Course Foundation

Outward Bound International

Police Treatment Centres

Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta

Power 2

Quad Centenary Council

Queen’s York Rangers

Raspberry Pi Foundation

Richmond Golf Club

Robert T. Jones, Jr. Scholarship Foundation

Round Square

Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom

Royal Aero Club Trust

Royal Air Force Golfing Society

Royal Air Force Lossiemouth

Royal Alberta United Services Institute

Royal Artillery Golfing Society

Royal Ascot Golf Club

Royal Belfast Golf Club

Royal Blackheath Golf Club

Royal British Legion Scotland, Inverness Branch

Royal British Legion, St. James’s Branch

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Royal County Down Golf Club

Royal Free Charity

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Guild of St Sebastian (Royal Guild of Archers of St. Sebastian – Bruges)

Royal Highland Fusiliers Of Canada, The

Royal Hospital School

Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling), 83rd and 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment)

Royal Jersey Golf Club

Royal Liverpool Golf Club

Royal Montrose Golf Club

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Royal Navy Golf Association

Royal Navy Golfing Society

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)

Royal North Devon Golf Club

Royal Norwich Golf Club

Royal Perth Golfing Society and Country and City Club

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Portrush Golf Club

Royal Society for Asian Affairs

Royal St David’s Golf Club

Royal Thames Yacht Club

Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies

Royal Victoria Yacht Club, British Columbia

Royal Winchester Golf Club

Royal Windsor Horse Show

Ryedale Festival

Seafarers Hospital Society

Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC)

SickKids Foundation

Small Arms School Corps

Society for Nautical Research

Sound Seekers

Sovereign Science

SS Great Britain Trust

St Helena National Trust 

Staffordshire Regiment Trust

STFC Harwell and Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

Studio Schools Trust

Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club

TeenTech

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland

The Association of Royal Navy Officers

The Cambridge Science Centre

The Cavalry and Guards Club

The Children’s Foundation

The Colonel’s Fund (Grenadier Guards)

The Corporation of Trinity House

The Duke of York Young Champions’ Trophy

The Duke of York’s Community Initiative

The Duke of York’s Sports Foundation

The Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School

The Fleet Air Arm

The Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Officers’ Association

The Friends of the Imperial War Museum

The Gordonstoun Association

The Helicopter Club of Great Britain

The Honourable Artillery Company

The Honourable Company of Air Pilots

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

The Institution of Civil Engineers

The Ladder Foundation

The Northern Meeting

The Omani Britain Friendship Association (OBFA)

The Outward Bound Trust

The Peter Jones Foundation

The Place (London Contemporary Dance Trust)

The Princess Louise Fusiliers

The Printing Charity

The Returned & Services League of Australia Limited

The Royal Air Squadron

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh

The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust

The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Duke of York, Royal Colonel

The Royal Household Golf Club

The Royal Institute of Navigation

The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own)

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund

The Royal Society

The South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA 82)

The Trampery

The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights

United Kingdom Trade & Investment

University of Cambridge Judge Business School

University of Huddersfield

Wellington Academy

Wellington College International Tianjin

Westminster Academy

Weston Spirit

Whitgift School

York Minster Appeal

York Minster Fund

York Race Course

Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Yorkshire Business Conference

Yorkshire Society

Young Engineers

‘Prince Andrew is NOT the sort of role model we want’: Huddersfield student launches #NotmyChancellor campaign to oust Duke from honorary role after university bosses stood by him

Students at Huddersfield University have launched a campaign for Prince Andrew to resign as chancellor, saying he is ‘not the sort of role model students should have’. 

The student union voted last night to campaign for the Duke of York to stand down as the ceremonial head following the fallout from his disastrous BBC interview.

But the university has backed Andrew, with a spokesman saying his ‘enthusiasm for innovation and entrepreneurship is a natural fit with the work of the university’. 

A motion was put forward by student Tristan Smith, with others backing the suggestion move on social media with the hashtag #NotMyChancellor.

The Duke of York speaks at his installation as chancellor of Huddersfield University in July 2015

The Duke of York speaks at his installation as chancellor of Huddersfield University in July 2015

The English literature student told the Independent: ‘I don’t think this man should be a chancellor and a role model. I want to be proud to go here.

Just 16 PER CENT of people believe Andrew after Epstein interview

Just 16 per cent of Brits believe Prince Andrew was telling the truth during his disastrous BBC interview.

A survey by OnePoll reveals just how badly the broadcast has gone down with the general public.

Only 16 per cent believe his claim that he has no recollection of meeting Virginia Giuffre, then 17, whom he is alleged to have had sex with.

The same figure believe his ‘alibi’ that he was at Pizza Express in Woking when Virginia Roberts alleged the incident took place.

Just 17 per cent believe his claim that he cannot sweat due to a medical condition picked up during the Falklands War.

More than half (54 per cent) think his decision to do the interview had damaged the Royal Family’s reputation.

And almost two thirds (63 per cent) said they thought Prince Andrew had done victims of sexual abuse “a disservice” by describing Epstein’s offending as “unbecoming”.

Last night, in a press conference in Los Angeles, another victim of Epstein urged Prince Andrew to share information on his former friend, who was found hanged in a US jail in August.

More than half (58 per cent) of the 1,000 UK adults surveyed by OnePoll think Andrew should now volunteer himself to the FBI to be questioned as part of the investigation.

The poll also revealed 63 per cent said they felt sorry for the Queen after the 93-year-old following her son’s relationship with the convicted sex offender and his Newsnight interview.

 

‘A lot of people agree with me and I had a staff member say to me that they were really pleased that I had put it forward. I don’t think his actions represent us.’

Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, the student added: ‘I think that the behaviour that we’ve seen, disregarding the allegations even, the fact that we know he continued the friendship with Jeffrey Epstein after the conviction, and even stayed at his house of his own admission – he admitted to that in the interview – I don’t think that’s very good conduct really, I don’t think that should be representative of us.

‘I think he needs to have taken a stand to show some integrity, and I haven’t seen that yet. It’s not the sort of role model I think students should have, it’s not the sort of person I think should be in that position, essentially of authority and of recognition and respect.

‘It seems very unreasonable I think that we would value having students going out into the world with integrity, with morals, with upstanding good reputations, and then that not being reflected in our chancellor’s behaviour and his statements, which I found to be very upsetting, and which I did not see much accountability and much sympathy for the victims, regardless of what may or may not have happened.’

The motion was put forward before Andrew’s interview on the BBC’s Newsnight on Saturday over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Emmanuel Haruna, president of Huddersfield Student Union, said it was ‘already scheduled to go to a termly student jury’ before the programme was aired.

The student union confirmed shortly before 7pm yesterday that the motion had been passed, and they are expected to release a full statement about it today.

The university itself yesterday refused to criticise Andrew, with a spokesman saying: ‘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.

Tristan Smith, who began a campaign for Prince Andrew to resign as Chancellor, told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme that he is 'not the sort of role model students should have'

Tristan Smith, who began a campaign for Prince Andrew to resign as Chancellor, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that he is ‘not the sort of role model students should have’

Student Tristan Smith expressed delight at the motion being passed by the student union

Student Tristan Smith expressed delight at the motion being passed by the student union

‘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.

Could Prince Charles cast his brother into the Windsor wilderness? Heir to the throne has long wanted to streamline the monarchy. As Prince Andrew’s interview plunges the Royal Family into crisis, RICHARD KAY asks if now is the time to act

You could almost hear the rattle of his breakfast crockery from the other side of the world as Prince Charles digested the backlash over his brother’s disastrous television appearance at the weekend.

It was not just that the debacle was drowning out the Prince’s own royal duties but that Charles was in New Zealandwhich has one of the most vocal republican movements in the Commonwealth.

While there is considerable goodwill towards the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, there has been talk about the £700,000 cost to local taxpayers of their last visit four years ago.

For some years Charles has made no secret that when he comes to the throne he foresees a slimmed down monarchy with fewer members, albeit one that is more in touch with modern life. Pictured: Prince Andrew and Prince Charles at Sandringham for the Christmas Day church service in 2011

For some years Charles has made no secret that when he comes to the throne he foresees a slimmed down monarchy with fewer members, albeit one that is more in touch with modern life. Pictured: Prince Andrew and Prince Charles at Sandringham for the Christmas Day church service in 2011

Against that backdrop, the Andrew fiasco is a further embarrassment, even 11,500 miles away.

For some years Charles has made no secret that when he comes to the throne he foresees a slimmed down monarchy with fewer members, albeit one that is more in touch with modern life. Under his plan the number of front-rank royals, we would see at formal ceremonial occasions would be considerably reduced with Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie the most likely to be surplus to requirements.

 

At times it has led to tensions between the brothers with Andrew quite naturally upset that his daughters, the only two blood Princesses of their generation and with the HRH style, being sidelined in such a high-handed manner.

Prince Charles inspects a guard of honour at Government House in Auckland, New Zealand on Tuesday

Prince Charles inspects a guard of honour at Government House in Auckland, New Zealand on Tuesday

Prince Charles prepares to lay a wreath at the Mount Roskill War Memorial Park in Auckland, New Zealand, on the first day of their royal tour

Prince Charles prepares to lay a wreath at the Mount Roskill War Memorial Park in Auckland, New Zealand, on the first day of their royal tour 

Three years ago it was claimed that the Prince had written to his mother asking her to intervene on behalf of the girls who have a close relationship with their grandmother, often dropping in for tea at Windsor Castle.

Things seemed intractable until the rhythms of life intervened — Eugenie is now in the second year of marriage to accountant’s son Jack Brooksbank and elder sister Beatrice will marry property developer Edo Mapelli Mozzi next year. Both Princesses are making futures away from the Royal Family.

But while the issue of his daughters has diminished, their father has been unable to escape the spotlight.

Prince Andrew interviewed by Emily Maitlis for BBC Newsnight regarding links to Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew interviewed by Emily Maitlis for BBC Newsnight regarding links to Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew walking through Buckingham Palace with Emily Maitlis before his 'car crash' interview on his links to Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew walking through Buckingham Palace with Emily Maitlis before his ‘car crash’ interview on his links to Jeffrey Epstein

Just imagine if the Royal Family was a corporation and Prince Andrew a director. Would he still be in a job after Saturday night’s interview?

For ten years up until 2011, Andrew’s official role as Britain’s trade envoy had been to suck up to international businessmen on behalf of Britain. In that time, the line between his official schmoozing on the nation’s behalf, and his networking among the rich on his own behalf, had become alarmingly blurred.

Dubious figures, inevitably wealthy, filled his address book of close friends, from the roistering Saif Gaddafi — son of the murderous former Libyan dictator — to Timur Kulibayev, the billionaire son-in-law of the former president of Kazakhstan. He was the figure who mysteriously paid £3 million over the £12 million asking price for Sunninghill Park, in Windsor Great Park, Andrew’s marital home that he had been unable to sell for five years.

Both Princesses are making futures away from the Royal Family. Princess Eugenie (left) and Princess Beatrice (right)

Both Princesses are making futures away from the Royal Family. Princess Eugenie (left) and Princess Beatrice (right)

The Queen cut a sombre figure as she took to her horse for a morning ride around the grounds of Windsor Castle today with her Head Groom Terry Pendry

The Queen cut a sombre figure as she took to her horse for a morning ride around the grounds of Windsor Castle today with her Head Groom Terry Pendry

But then, everyone who knows Andrew well is aware he is obsessed with money. And this is what initially drew him into the unsavoury company of billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

One theory is that the Duke of York could lose his status as a working royal when Charles becomes King

One theory is that the Duke of York could lose his status as a working royal when Charles becomes King 

Prince Charles was never comfortable with his brother occupying such a sensitive ambassadorial role for which he always thought he was ill-suited.

And over the weekend the Prince was said to have regarded his brother’s decision to grant the BBC an interview with ‘incredulity and alarm’ and had considered the whole enterprise ‘misguided’.

The negative headlines, including yesterday’s poll that showed only six per cent of the public believe Andrew’s explanation of his friendship with Epstein, will hardly have improved the Prince’s frame of mind.

No wonder figures close to Charles have been speculating that it would not just be Beatrice and Eugenie who would be erased from a streamlined Royal Family. So too, they say, would Andrew.

One theory is that the Duke of York could lose his status as a working royal when Charles becomes King. Another more drastic suggestion is that Andrew might have the funding he receives from the Sovereign Grant, the money he is given to run his private office, removed.

The Prince of Wales seemed overcome with emotion during the service in Auckland

It is Charles and Camilla's third visit to New Zealand

The Prince of Wales seemed overcome with emotion during the service in Auckland. Charles and Camilla are on their third visit to New Zealand

Palace insiders insist it is unlikely there will be any such scaling back in his duties, at least in the short term as Andrew enjoys the complete support of the Queen. And that, for now, remains the case.

Prince Charles, 71, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, were welcomed to New Zealand with a busy first day of engagements during an eight day royal tour

Prince Charles, 71, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, were welcomed to New Zealand with a busy first day of engagements during an eight day royal tour

But if the public backlash worsens and the financial backing from blue-chip companies supporting his main charity Pitch@Palace continues to drain away — KPMG and Aon withdrew their sponsorship yesterday — aides may have to reconsider. If ever Andrew could have done with the wise counsel of his older brother it was this last weekend. Charles, who had his own costly television ‘moment’ 25 years ago when he admitted adultery to the broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, would surely have urged him not to do it.

But the fact is that in recent times the two brothers have had a distant relationship. Things burst into the open in 2012 when Charles made his future vision of a slimmed down monarchy plain for all to see by excluding wider members of the family from the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Queen struck an elegant ensemble as she headed The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Windsor Great Park in a turquoise ensemble yesterday. It is claimed that Prince Andrew joined her at the service and assured her that his BBC interview went well

The Queen struck an elegant ensemble as she headed The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Windsor Great Park in a turquoise ensemble yesterday. It is claimed that Prince Andrew joined her at the service and assured her that his BBC interview went well

That balcony scene was one of the most significant moments of the entire Jubilee. With Prince Philip unwell and in hospital, the Queen lined up with Charles, Camilla, William and Kate and Prince Harry. It was the clearest signal yet that under Charles, the Royal Family would consist of the monarch and the monarch’s immediate family.

The contrast with the last great palace gathering, the Queen’s golden jubilee ten years earlier, could not have been greater. Then, Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward all had prominent roles. Now they were reduced to peripheral figures.

As I reported at the time, Andrew was said to have viewed the demotion as ‘like a dagger to his heart’.

Back then, he had only recently stepped down as Britain’s international trade envoy but, even so, Andrew was hurt. Even greater was his anger at the way he felt Beatrice and Eugenie had been treated in the same year when they lost their round-the-clock police protection, which followed a row over the £500,000 annual cost.

It was a move he bitterly resented because he also saw it as a sign of his own diminishing status.

The Queen and Prince Andrew together at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire on September 15

The Queen and Prince Andrew together at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire on September 15

So what will happen next? Despite their differences, Charles has a good deal of affection for his brother. When Virginia Roberts’ allegations that she had sex with Andrew first became public in 2015, one of the first calls the Duke made was to his elder brother.

Andrew told him the claims were not true. Charles believed him then and believes him now.

A family friend says: ‘Nothing has come along since to make the Prince believe anything other than that Andrew has been telling the truth. The problem is he feels it has become a real mess.’

Downgrading Andrew from a working royal might even worsen things. His only interest outside his family and his charities is playing golf and, with nothing else to distract him, he could possibly become even more of a liability.

After all, when Andrew was first made Britain’s trade ambassador in 2001, Charles often described him as being like ‘a fizzy drink that has been shaken up and the stopper taken off’.

These days, the fizz has long gone out of the Duke of York. But if ever he needed to make a phone call to his brother, it is now.

Prince Andrew ‘teenager’ hits back: Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre who claims she had sex with the Duke has filmed a BBC interview about Royal’s denials

By Sebastian Murphy-Bates

Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre has filmed an interview with the BBC in a move to shatter Prince Andrew’s denials that he had sex with her.

The 35-year-old, who says she had intercourse with the Duke, spoke to Panorama before the Royal appeared on Saturday’s Newsnight. 

She is believed to have claimed during the conversation that the prince slept with her when she was 17.

Ms Giuffre claims that billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to London from the US.  

Ms Giuffre (pictured) claims that billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to London from the US

Ms Giuffre (pictured) claims that billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to London from the US

And Mirror Online reports that she is furious her interview – which was filmed three weeks before Andrew’s Newsnight chat aired – has not aired yet. 

A source close to her told the website that she ‘made no bones’ about the Duke’s denial during her sit-down with Panorama, in which she is said to demand he comes clean.

It comes amid speculation that Ms Giuffre’s interview was deliberately held back so that it didn’t jeopardise 59-year-old Andrew’s interview.

The source said the her legal team have now idea why the Panorama interview has not aired. 

They claim that every broadcaster to have interviewed Ms Giuffre has aired them ‘almost immediately’ but the BBC hasn’t. 

But BBC sources says that the interview forms part of a larger investigation and it is for that reason that it hasn’t yet aired. 

A lawyer for three victims of Epstein has demanded the Duke testify to the FBI under oath.

Prince Andrew (pictured during a Pitch@Palace event in November 2015) is facing a furious backlash as companies consider their relationship with the Duke

Prince Andrew (pictured during a Pitch@Palace event in November 2015) is facing a furious backlash as companies consider their relationship with the Duke 

Prince Andrew denied any knowledge of the financier’s perversions during his conversation with Emily Maitlis.

Lawyer Gloria Allred said that she could not see how Andrew would not have known that Epstein was exploiting underage minors.

Spencer Kulvin, who also represents a victim of Epstein, said that Prince Andrew’s decision to go on camera ‘shocked’ him because anything he said could be utilised in a cross-examination. 

He added that he doesn’t think there’s any way a man who visited all of Epstein’s homes could be unaware of girls being brought in and out. 

Explosive exchanges with BBC Newsnight that saw Prince Andrew flounder in hour-long ‘juggernaut crash’

It comes after the Prince's 'car crash' BBC interview. Sources close to the Duke of York said he wanted to address the issues head-on and did so with 'honesty and humility', despite a enormous online backlash slamming the eighth in line to the throne for a series of increasingly egregious remarks

It comes after the Prince’s ‘car crash’ BBC interview. Sources close to the Duke of York said he wanted to address the issues head-on and did so with ‘honesty and humility’, despite a enormous online backlash slamming the eighth in line to the throne for a series of increasingly egregious remarks

On ‘unbecoming’ Epstein and their friendship with him and Ghislaine Maxwell

Prince Andrew [PA]: ‘Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.’

Emily Maitlis [EM]: ‘Unbecoming? He was a sex offender.’

EM: ‘Do you regret the whole friendship with Epstein?’

PA: ‘Now…still not and the reason being is that the people I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.’

PA: ‘It would be a considerable stretch to say that he [Epstein] was a very, very close friend. But he had the most extraordinary ability to bring extraordinary people together and that’s the bit that I remember.’

PA: ‘I stayed with him and that’s the bit that…I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal Family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.’

EM: ‘Am I right in thinking you threw a birthday party for Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, at Sandringham?’

PA: ‘No, it was a shooting weekend.’

EM: ‘A shooting weekend?’

PA: ‘Just a straightforward, a straightforward shooting weekend.’

On staying with Epstein in New York after his conviction for prostituting a child

EM, referring to the prince’s stay at Epstein’s New York home in 2010 after he was released from prison: ‘You were staying at the house…of a convicted sex offender.’

PA: ‘It was a convenient place to stay… I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.’

EM: ‘It might seem a funny way to break off a friendship – a four-day house party of sorts with a dinner.’

PA: ‘That’s a very stark way of putting it. Yes you’re absolutely right. But actually the truth of it is that I actually only saw him for about… the dinner party, the walk in the park and probably passing in the passage.’  

On his Pizza Express alibi 

EM: ‘Why would you remember a Pizza Express birthday and being at home?’

PA: ‘Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.’

On not being able to sweat and not liking to hug

EM: ‘She [Virginia Roberts] was very specific about that night. She described dancing with you. You profusely sweating.’

PA: ‘There’s a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time.’ 

PA: ‘I am not one to, as it were, hug, and public displays of affection are not something that I do.’

His denial that he met or had sex with any of Epstein’s ‘slaves’

EM: ‘For the record, is there any way you could have had sex with that young woman or any young woman trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein in any of his residences?’

PA: ‘No and without putting too fine a point on it, if you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody…it’s very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything.’

EM: ‘Would you be willing to testify or give a statement under oath if you were asked?’

PA: ‘If push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.’ 

Duchess of York says ‘buck stops with’ her ex-husband Prince Andrew’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk over his ‘car crash’ Newsnight interview

By Sebastian Murphy-Bates 

The Duchess of York says that the buck stops with Prince Andrew’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk over his ‘car crash’ Newsnight interview.

Friends of the duchess said she was shocked to return to the UK from an overseas trip to find that the BBC interview went ahead.

They told the Telegraph that Thirsk should have kept the Duke of York clear of the 50-minute sit-down with Emily Maitlis.

Sources say that Andrew's car crash interview should be blamed on his private secretary Amanda Thirsk (pictured with the Duke at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year)

The friends of the Duchess (pictured with Andrew) say she had noting to do with the interview

Sources say that Andrew’s car crash interview should be blamed on his private secretary Amanda Thirsk (pictured, left, with the Duke at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year) and that the Duchess (right, with Andrew) had nothing to do with it 

It comes as the prince faces furious backlash over his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The programme centred on whether or not the Royal had sex with Virginia Giuffre after Epstein allegedly trafficked her from the US to London. 

Sources have said that the Duchess had no involvement in the decision to go ahead with the interview. 

They added that she should not have ‘put him up to it’ because he’s ‘not very quick on his feet’. 

It comes after the Duchess described her ex-husband as a ‘giant of a principled man’ in a supportive post on Instagram on Friday.

They divorced in 1996 after being married for 10 years but they still live together in Windsor.  

A second source said that Andrew should not have been put before a ‘forensic interviewer’ for 50 minutes to talk about one topic.

They said the matter should have been featured in a wider documentary that takes into account the work he does.  

But the source admitted that the private secretary couldn’t make Andrew do anything he didn’t want to do.  

The Duchess has previously suggested that her then-husband handled negotiations with Epstein on her behalf in 2011.

She said that ‘the Duke sorted out my debts’ as she admitted that ‘having anything to do with Jeffrey Epstein’ was a ‘terrible error of judgment’.  

So much for family ‘rule’ cited by Prince Andrew that one parent was always at home: Photos show Duke of York on a US trip in 2001 while his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was in India

During his disastrous TV interview, Prince Andrew suggested he could not have met Virginia Roberts at Tramp nightclub because he was ‘at home with the children’.

The Duke of York said he was taking care of Beatrice and Eugenie because his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was away.

Andrew said he and the duchess had a ‘simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there’.

He used this as part of his defence against the allegations that he danced with Miss Roberts – the most high profile of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s victims – at the famed celebrity nightspot in Mayfair before having sex with her on the night of March 10, 2001.

Andrew said he and the duchess had a ‘simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there’. But photographs and reports suggest they broke this pact only four months earlier. November 4, 2000: Prince Andrew with Steven Spielberg while the duchess was in India

Andrew said he and the duchess had a ‘simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there’. But photographs and reports suggest they broke this pact only four months earlier. November 4, 2000: Prince Andrew with Steven Spielberg while the duchess was in India

At the same time as the duke was travelling, the duchess travelled to India to make a film for the BBC about the floods that devastated the Bengal plains. Pictured: Sarah Ferguson in India on November 3

At the same time as the duke was travelling, the duchess travelled to India to make a film for the BBC about the floods that devastated the Bengal plains. Pictured: Sarah Ferguson in India on November 3

However, photographs and reports from the time, unearthed by the Daily Mail, show the duke and duchess broke this pact only four months earlier.

Andrew flew to New York at the end of October 2000 to attend a ‘hookers and pimps’-themed Halloween party – where he was pictured with Epstein’s girlfriend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

The duke then travelled to a showbusiness ball at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, where he handed a Bafta award to film director Steven Spielberg on November 4.

He also carried out some official duties on behalf of the Queen. Reports from the time said he returned to the UK on November 10. At the same time, the duchess travelled to India to make a film for the BBC about the floods that devastated the Bengal plains.

She trekked up to the foothills of the Himalayas and was photographed in Dharamshala, the Dalai Lama’s residence, on November 4. Other press photographs show her meeting aid workers at a missionary in Kolkata, then called Calcutta, two days later.

At the time of their trips, Beatrice was 12 and was halfway through her first term at St George’s School in Ascot, Berkshire, where she was a day pupil. Eugenie was ten and attended Coworth Park School in Windlesham, Surrey.

No pictures could be found of the girls during this period and it is unclear who looked after them.

A little over four months later, Andrew is accused of dancing with Miss Roberts at Tramp.

Miss Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, claims she was forced to have sex with the duke at Maxwell’s mews house in Belgravia afterwards. She was 17 at the time and claims it was the first of three sexual encounters with Andrew. The prince denies the allegations.

When asked during the Newsnight interview whether he remembered dancing at Tramp, he replied: ‘No, that couldn’t have happened because the date that’s being suggested I was at home with the children.’

He was then asked by Emily Maitlis whether he was sure of this, to which the duke replied: ‘On that particular day that we now understand is the date which is the tenth of March, I was at home, I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of four or five in the afternoon.

‘And then because the duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there. I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy so therefore I was at home.’ In March 2001, Andrew, his ex-wife and their daughters lived at their 12-bed Sunninghill Park home in Surrey. It is roughly ten miles from Woking, a drive of perhaps 23 minutes.

The 30-mile drive to Mayfair in central London on a Saturday evening might take just over an hour.

The duchess does appear to have been away at the time in question – promoting Wedgwood china in the US, where she was pictured on March 9.

 

 

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