It’s probably safe to say it’s not been the best few days Prince Andrew – aka the Duke of York – has ever had.
Andrew, the Queen’s third child, found himself in some *seriously* hot water over the weekend after giving an interview to Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The prince’s defence of his relationship with Epstein – who died in prison in August – and his failure to show any sympathy for Epstein’s young victims meant he faced some serious scrutiny after the interview was aired on Saturday night.
And, honestly, it’s only got worse for him since then (and we’re not just talking about the claims Prince Andrew used the n-word during a meeting at Buckingham Palace in 2012 – an allegation palace sources strongly deny).
Huddersfield Students Try To Ditch The Prince
As has become apparent over the past few days, Prince Andrew’s name is connected to a lot of British institutions and charities – including the University of Huddersfield.
Back in 2015, the Duke of York was made chancellor of the West Yorkshire university and awarded an honorary doctorate.
But, after the prince’s interview about his relationship with Epstein, it seems Huddersfield students are keen to distance themselves from Andrew.
On Monday night, Huddersfield Uni’s student union passed a motion saying the SU should lobby Prince Andrew to resign as chancellor.
Part of the motion read: “Prince Andrew’s association with a known paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein… combined with the allegations made by Virginia Giuffre that Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her make him an utterly unsuitable representative for us here at the University of Huddersfield.
“We need to put survivors of sexual assault above royal connections and show students, alumni, and prospective students that this institution cares about their well-being, irrespective of the status of the alleged perpetrator.”
Meanwhile, students used the hashtag #NotMyChancellor on Twitter.
“I think for the sake of our university and its good reputation, we need to do something to make sure this man is not associated with us #NotMyChancellor,” one student tweeted.
It’s not the first time Huddersfield students have tried to unseat the Duke, though. In 2018, they called on him to resign after they accused him of being “blasé” about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The University of Huddersfield said it was aware of Monday night’s motion. “We listen to our students’ views and concerns and we will now be consulting with them over the coming weeks,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, London Metropolitan University revealed on Tuesday it was reviewing the Duke of York’s role as its patron. Andrew took on the role in 2013, taking over from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The university’s board of governors is set to review the prince’s position at a meeting next week.
A spokesperson said: “The university opposes all forms of discrimination, abuse, human trafficking and any activity that is contrary to the university’s values.”
Companies Distance Themselves From The Duke
It’s not just students who have distanced themselves from the prince.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace 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.”
Now, it looks as if other businesses and charities could be about to follow suit.
On Tuesday, Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered revealed it had decided not to renew its sponsorship of the scheme.
A spokesman for Standard Chartered said: “We can confirm we are not renewing our sponsorship of Pitch@Palace for commercial reasons once our current agreement terminates in December.”
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca confirmed it is also reviewing its three-year partnership with Pitch@Palace, which is due to expire at the end of the year.
And the Daily Mail reported Advertising Week Europe was also following suit.
A spokesman told the paper: “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.”
Meanwhile, The Times reports that Aon has called for its logo to be removed from the mentorship scheme’s website. A spokesperson for the insurance company told HuffPost UK that it was a not a partner of the scheme “and never had been, which is why we asked for the logo to be removed from the website”.
Virginia Giuffre Has Given Another Interview
During his interview with Newsnight, Prince Andrew strenuously denied claims by Virginia Giuffre – one of Epstein’s victims – she was forced to have sex with the Duke when she was 17, or at any other time.
Giuffre has alleged that she was made to have sex with Andrew three times between 2001 and 2002.
The prince told Maitlis that it “absolutely categorically” did not happen, saying he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady”.
But Andrew is likely to face further scrutiny over the claims after it emerged on Monday that Giuffre has given an interview to BBC’s Panorama.
According to PA Media, the 35-year-old reiterated her claims she slept with Andrew as a teenager after being trafficked by Epstein.
Meanwhile, a woman who has accused Epstein of sexually abusing her as a child has called on Prince Andrew to tell US authorities what he knows about his former friend.
“Prince Andrew, and any others who were close to Epstein, should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have,” the woman – who calls herself Jane Doe 15 – said at a news conference on Monday.