21/07/2011 18:02 BST | Updated 20/09/2011 10:12 BST

Prince Andrew Steps Down As Trade Envoy

A friendship with a billionaire paedophile is never a good idea. Nor is being photographed with a teenage prostitute or having links to Gaddafi. But that probably didn't stop Prince Andrew from mingling with the tarnished figures last year and might explain why he resigned Thursday from his role as UK Trade Envoy.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the Duke of York's resignation from his role Thursday.

David Cameron said in a statement issued by Downing Street, "I would like to thank the Duke of York for the major contribution he has made over the last decade to UK trade and the huge support he has given to British businesses as the Special Representative for Trade and Investment. I am certain that he and others in the Royal family will continue to support and promote British business interests both at home and overseas."

The Duke of York first became the UK Special Representative for Trade and Investment, under the British government trade promotion body, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), in October 2001.

Formally, the Duke of York's website describes his job as "promoting the UK as an attractive inward investment destination for foreign investors; creating more positive business conditions for British businesses investing overseas; and helping UK companies export their products to emerging and established markets".

The Daily Mail reports that the Prince has not given up the role completely.

He’ll continue to represent Britain abroad, but as other members of the Royal Family do.