About 50 charities and organizations have officially cut ties with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, as their royal patronage since he stepped back as a working royal in late 2019.
According to The Telegraph, most of these charities and groups believe that it was no longer appropriate to have Andrew as their royal patron and they want to replace him with someone who would be more suited to their goals.
Prince Andrew has been besieged with a sex trafficking scandal tied to his friend, Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life in August 2019 as he was awaiting his trial in prison. A few months later, Andrew quit his job with the royal family, pressured by his links to his billionaire friend. After his unfavorable BBC interview, charities that used to be aligned with the Duke of York said that they no longer want anything to do with him.
Of the 150 organizations The Telegraph got in touch with, nearly 50 confirmed said that Andrew is not their royal patron anymore. Among the organizations that dropped Andrew were the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children's Fund, the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, the Children's Foundation, Berkshire County Cricket Club, Whitgift School in Croydon and the Society for Nautical Research. The office of the Duke of York, however, has not commented on the latest report.
The news comes as Prince Charles, Andrew's older brother, has taken over as the new royal patronage of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The organization announced in April 2021 that Charles, not Andrew, will be helping them prepare for their 75th anniversary.
Meanwhile, Andrew has not yet spoken to the FBI or the U.S. prosecutors who want him to shed light on the accusations against Epstein. His friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, has been in prison for more than a year as she was also accused of working for Epstein's sex trafficking ring.
Family members speaking for Maxwell, who was friends with Andrew since college, said that she's confident her name will be cleared and that she will soon get out of prison. A judge in New York has not granted bail to the former British socialite as she faced a grilling in court.
A victim, Virginia Giuffre (nee Robertson), claimed that it was Maxwell who introduced her to Prince Andrew, whom she had sexual encounters for at least three times as a minor. The Duke of York denied on national television ever recalling meeting Giuffre more than 20 years ago.