It has just been announced that Prince Andrew has resigned as Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, with immediate effect.
The news comes after he released a statement yesterday confirming that he would be stepping back from all official royal duties ‘for the foreseeable future’, following a disastrous TV interview, and continued backlash in the public response.
A number of sponsors, who supported causes with with The Duke of York is affiliated, have already pulled their funding. KPMG and BT are just two examples of companies who have announced they will be withdrawing sponsorships associated with the Prince.
Others are holding board meetings to review their position, while others have announced they are reviewing their ties to The Duke of York.
The university had come under increasing pressure for Andrew to be replaced as its Chancellor, and members of the students’ union yesterday passed a motion calling on the Royal to resign from the ceremonial post.
A spokesman for the university said that Prince Andrew, whose appointment was due to end in 2020, “has decided to step down immediately”.
“HRH The Duke of York has announced he is stepping back from Royal duties for a period of time,” a statement reads. “Due to the circumstances and in discussion with the University, he has decided to step down immediately to allow the University to appoint a successor.
“HRH The Duke of York was conferred as Chancellor of the University in 2015 for a period of five years and the University would like to thank The Duke for his work during his period as Chancellor.
“The Duke has informed the University that ‘he continues to unequivocally condemn Jeffrey Epstein’s activities and regrets his ill-judged association with him. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and he deeply sympathises with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure’.
“The University would also like to express our deep sympathy to all of those victims and families that have been affected and we do hope that they are getting the support they need.”
Andrew has also quit as patron of the Outward Bound Trust, an organisation that seeks to help 11-24 year olds overcome obstacles through exploration and adventure outdoors.
Interestingly, the Duke is to continue in his work with Pitch@Palace, which sees entrepreneurs gather and pitch their ideas to investors. Many are social good projects, or equipment, and is probably the work for which Andrew is best known.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman commented: “He will continue to work on Pitch but will look at how to do that outside and entirely separate from the palace.”
The Duke will travel to Bahrain in a few days’ time for the next instalment of Pitch.