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Prince Andrew, Duke of York

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Prince Andrew
Duke of York (more)
Andrew standing at a lectern speaking
The Duke of York in 2013
Born (1960-02-19) 19 February 1960 (age 61)
Buckingham Palace, London
(m. 1986; div. 1996)
Andrew Albert Christian Edward Mountbatten-Windsor[a]
FatherPrince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
MotherElizabeth II
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of active service1979–2001
RankVice Admiral
Battles/warsFalklands War

Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG, GCVO, CD, ADC (Andrew Albert Christian Edward; born 19 February 1960), is a member of the British royal family. He is the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is ninth in the line of succession to the British throne.

Andrew served in the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot and instructor and as the captain of a warship. During the Falklands War, he flew on multiple missions including anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, and casualty evacuation. In 1986, he married Sarah Ferguson and was created Duke of York. They have two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Their marriage, separation in 1992, and divorce in 1996 attracted extensive media coverage. He served as the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment for 10 years until July 2011.

Prince Andrew has been accused of child sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges that Andrew initiated a sexual encounter with her while knowing that she was a minor who was sex trafficked by American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.[2] In November 2019, Andrew suspended his public duties "for the foreseeable future" following intense negative reaction to a television interview for the BBC's Newsnight programme. The interview was mainly concerned with responding to Giuffre's allegation, as well as Andrew's connections to Epstein.[3] In May 2020, it was announced that Andrew would permanently resign from all public roles over his ties to Epstein.[4] Andrew is a person of interest in the criminal investigation into Epstein's affairs; US authorities have filed a mutual legal assistance request to the UK in order to formally interrogate Andrew. As of September 2021, Andrew is the defendant in a lawsuit over sexual assault filed by Giuffre in New York State.[5] Andrew has categorically denied Giuffre's claims and has stated that he has no recollection of meeting her.[6]

Early life

Gordonstoun school in Scotland
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward at the opening of the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta

Andrew was born in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palace on 19 February 1960,[7] the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was baptised in the Palace's Music Room on 8 April 1960 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher.[b] His paternal grandfather was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.

Andrew was the first child born to a reigning monarch since the birth in 1857 of Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice.[9] As with his older siblings, Andrew was looked after by a governess, who was responsible for his early education at Buckingham Palace.[10] He was sent to Heatherdown School near Ascot in Berkshire.[11] In September 1973, he entered Gordonstoun, in northern Scotland, which his father and elder brother had also attended.[12] While there, he spent six months—from January to June 1977—participating in an exchange programme to Lakefield College School in Canada.[11][13] He left Gordonstoun in July two years later with A-Levels[13] in English, History, and Economics.[14]

Military service

Royal Navy

The Royal Household announced in November 1978 that Andrew would join the Royal Navy the following year. In December, he underwent various sporting tests and examinations at the Aircrew Selection Centre, at RAF Biggin Hill, along with further tests and interviews at HMS Daedalus, and interviews at the Admiralty Interview Board, HMS Sultan. During March and April 1979, he was enrolled at the Royal Naval College Flight, undergoing pilot training, until he was accepted as a trainee helicopter pilot and signed on for 12 years from 11 May 1979. On 1 September of the same year, Andrew was appointed as a midshipman, and entered Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During 1979 he also completed the Royal Marines All Arms Commando Course for which he received his Green Beret.[15] He was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant on 1 September 1981 and appointed to the Trained Strength on 22 October.[16]

After passing out from Dartmouth, Andrew went on to elementary flying training with the Royal Air Force at RAF Leeming, and later, basic flying training with the navy at HMS Seahawk, where he learned to fly the Gazelle helicopter.[15] After being awarded his wings, he moved onto more advanced training on the Sea King helicopter, and conducted operational flying training until 1982. He joined carrier-based squadron, 820 Naval Air Squadron, serving aboard the aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible.[15]

Falklands War

Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory claimed by Argentina,[17] on 2 April 1982, leading to the Falklands War. Invincible was one of the two operational aircraft carriers available at the time, and, as such, was to play a major role in the Royal Navy task force assembled to sail south to retake the islands.

Prince Andrew's place on board and the possibility of the Queen's son being killed in action made the British government apprehensive, and the cabinet desired that Prince Andrew be moved to a desk job for the duration of the conflict. The Queen, though, insisted that her son be allowed to remain with his ship.[18] Prince Andrew remained on board Invincible to serve as a Sea King helicopter co-pilot, flying on missions that included anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, casualty evacuation, transport, and search and air rescue.[19][20][21] He witnessed the Argentinian attack on the SS Atlantic Conveyor.[22]

At the end of the war, Invincible returned to Portsmouth, where the Queen and Prince Philip joined other families of the crew in welcoming the vessel home. The Argentine military government reportedly planned, but did not attempt, to assassinate the prince on Mustique in July 1982.[23] Though he had brief assignments to HMS Illustrious, RNAS Culdrose, and the Joint Services School of Intelligence, Prince Andrew remained with Invincible until 1983. Commander Nigel Ward's memoir, Sea Harrier Over the Falklands, described Prince Andrew as "an excellent pilot and a very promising officer."[24]

Career naval officer

The Duke of York with the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta commemorating the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation at the National Building Museum in 2011

In late 1983, Andrew transferred to RNAS Portland, and was trained to fly the Lynx helicopter.[15] On 1 February 1984 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant,[25] whereupon the Queen appointed him as her personal aide-de-camp.[26] Prince Andrew served aboard HMS Brazen as a flight pilot until 1986,[15] including deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Standing NRF Maritime Group 2. He undertook the Lieutenants' Greenwich Staff course. On 23 October 1986, the Duke of York (as he was by then) transferred to the General List, enrolled in a four-month helicopter warfare instructor's course at RNAS Yeovilton, and, upon graduation, served from February 1987 to April 1988 as a helicopter warfare officer in 702 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Portland. He also served on HMS Edinburgh as an Officer of the Watch and Assistant Navigating Officer until 1989, including a six-month deployment to the Far East as part of exercise Outback 88.[15]

The Duke of York served as flight commander and pilot of the Lynx HAS3 on HMS Campbeltown from 1989 to 1991. He also acted as Force Aviation Officer to Standing NRF Maritime Group 1 while Campbeltown was flagship of the NATO force in the North Atlantic from 1990 to 1991.[15] He passed the squadron command examination on 16 July 1991, attended the Staff College, Camberley the following year, and completed the Army Staff course. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander on 1 February and passed the ship command examination on 12 March 1992. From 1993 to 1994, Prince Andrew commanded the Hunt-class minehunter HMS Cottesmore.[15]

From 1995 to 1996, the Duke was posted as Senior Pilot of 815 Naval Air Squadron, then the largest flying unit in the Fleet Air Arm. His main responsibility was to supervise flying standards and to guarantee an effective operational capability.[15] He was promoted to Commander on 27 April 1999,[15] finishing his active naval career at the British Ministry of Defence in 2001, as an officer of the Diplomatic Directorate of the Naval Staff.[15] In July of that year, the Duke of York was retired from the Active List of the Navy.[27] Three years later, he was made an Honorary Captain,[28] rather than the substantive rank of Captain, as would be customary. On 19 February 2010, his 50th birthday, he was promoted to Rear Admiral.[29] Five years later, he was promoted to Vice Admiral.[30][31]

Personal life

Personal interests

Andrew is a keen golfer with a low single-figure handicap.[32] He was captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews between 2003 and 2004—during the club's 250th anniversary season—is patron of a number of royal golf clubs, and has been elected as an honorary member of many others. The Duke is also a keen skier and has bought a skiing chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, for between £8 million and £13 million jointly with Sarah Ferguson.[33] In May 2020, it was reported that Andrew and his former wife were in a legal dispute over a Swiss ski chalet as they were unable to pay their £5m debt.[34] Despite claims that the Queen would help with paying the debt, a spokesperson for the Duke confirmed that she "will not be stepping in to settle the debt".[35] The Times reported in September 2021 that Andrew and Sarah had reached a legal agreement with the property's previous owner and would sell the house to pay back their debt.[36]

Andrew is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, the senior maritime City livery company.[37] In May 2008, he attended a goose-hunt in Kazakhstan with President Nursultan Nazarbayev.[38]

Relationship with Koo Stark

Andrew met Koo Stark in February 1981, before his active service in the Falklands War.[39][40] In October 1982, they took a holiday together on the island of Mustique.[41][42] Tina Brown has claimed that Stark was Andrew's only serious love interest.[43] In 1983, they split up under pressure from press, paparazzi, and palace.[39][43] In 1997, Andrew became godfather to Stark's daughter.[44] When Andrew was facing accusations in 2015 over his connection to Jeffrey Epstein, Stark came to his defence.[39]

Marriage to Sarah Ferguson

Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey on 23 July 1986. On the same day, the Queen created him Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh.[45] The first two of these titles were previously held by both his maternal grandfather and great-grandfather. Prince Andrew had known Ferguson since childhood; they had met occasionally at polo matches, and became re-acquainted with each other at Royal Ascot in 1985.[46]

The couple appeared to have a happy marriage and had two daughters together, presenting a united outward appearance during the late 1980s. His wife's personal qualities were seen as refreshing in the context of the formal protocol surrounding the royal family. However, the Duke of York's frequent travel due to his military career, as well as relentless, often critical, media attention focused on the Duchess of York, led to fractures in the marriage. On 19 March 1992, the couple announced plans to separate and did so in an amicable way.[47] Some months later, pictures appeared in the tabloid media of the Duchess in intimate association with John Bryan, her financial advisor at the time, which effectively ended any hopes of a reconciliation between the Duke and Duchess. The marriage was ended in divorce on 30 May 1996. The Duke of York spoke fondly of his former wife: "We have managed to work together to bring our children up in a way that few others have been able to and I am extremely grateful to be able to do that."[48]

The Duke of York riding in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour, 16 June 2012

The couple agreed to share custody of their two daughters, and the family continued to live at Sunninghill Park (built near Windsor Great Park for the couple in 1990) until the Duke moved to Royal Lodge in 2004. In 2007, Sarah moved into Dolphin House in Englefield Green, less than a mile from Royal Lodge.[49] In 2008, a fire at Dolphin House[49] resulted in Sarah moving into Royal Lodge, again sharing a house with the Duke of York.[50] Andrew's lease of Royal Lodge is for 75 years, with the Crown Estate as landlord, at a cost of a single £1 million premium and a commitment to spend £7.5 million on refurbishment.[51]

In May 2010, Sarah was filmed by a News of the World reporter claiming that her former husband had agreed that if she were to receive £500,000, he would meet the donor and pass on useful top-level business contacts. She was filmed receiving, in cash, $40,000 as a down payment. The Duke's entourage emphatically denied he knew of the situation.[52] In July 2011, Sarah stated that her multi-million pound debts had been cleared due to the intervention of her former husband, whom she compared to a "knight on a white charger".[53]

Allegations of sexual abuse

BBC News reported in March 2011 that Andrew's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier and (from 2008) a convicted sex offender, was producing "a steady stream of criticism", and there were calls for him to step down from his role as trade envoy.[54] The Duke was also criticised in the media after his former wife, Sarah, disclosed that he helped arrange for Epstein to pay off £15,000 of her debts.[55][56] Andrew had been photographed in December 2010 strolling with Epstein in Central Park during a visit to New York City.[57] In July 2011, the Duke's role as trade envoy was terminated and he reportedly cut all ties with Epstein.[54][58]

On 30 December 2014, a Florida court filing by lawyers Bradley J. Edwards and Paul G. Cassell alleged that Andrew was one of several prominent figures, including lawyer Alan Dershowitz and "a former prime minister",[59] to have participated in sexual activities with a minor later identified as Virginia Giuffre (then known by her maiden name Virginia Roberts),[60] who was allegedly trafficked for sex by Epstein.[61] An affidavit from Giuffre was included in an earlier lawsuit from 2008 accusing the US Justice Department of violating the Crime Victims' Rights Act during Epstein's first criminal case by not allowing several of his victims to challenge his plea deal; the Duke was otherwise not a party to the lawsuit.[62]

In January 2015, there was renewed media and public pressure for Buckingham Palace to explain Andrew's connection with Epstein.[63] Buckingham Palace stated that "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue", later repeating the denials.[64][65] Requests from Giuffre's lawyers for a statement from the Duke, under oath, about the allegations were returned unanswered.[66][67]

Dershowitz vehemently denied the allegations in Giuffre's statement and sought disbarment of the lawyers filing the suit.[68][69][70] Edwards and Cassell sued Dershowitz for defamation in January 2015; he countersued.[71] The two parties settled in 2016 for an undisclosed financial sum.[72] Epstein sued Edwards for civil racketeering but later dropped his suit; Edwards countersued for malicious prosecution with the result that Epstein issued a public apology to the lawyer in December 2018.[73][74]

Giuffre asserted that she had sex with Andrew on three occasions, including a trip to London in 2001 when she was 17,[75] and later in New York and on Little Saint James in the U.S. Virgin Islands.[57] She alleged Epstein paid her $15,000 to have sex with the Duke in London.[75] Flight logs show the Duke and Giuffre were in the places she alleges the sex happened.[76][77] Andrew and Giuffre were also photographed together with his arm round her waist, with an Epstein associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, standing in the background,[78] though Andrew's supporters have repeatedly claimed the photo is fake and edited.[79] Giuffre stated that she was pressured to have sex with the Duke and "wouldn't have dared object" as Epstein, through contacts, could have her "killed or abducted". The allegations have, as of early 2015, not been tested in any court.[80]

On 7 April 2015, Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that the "sex allegations made against Andrew in court papers filed in Florida must be struck from the public record".[81][82] Marra made no ruling as to whether claims by Giuffre are true or false, specifically stating that she may later give evidence when the case comes to court.[83] Giuffre stated she would not "be bullied back into silence."[84]

In August 2019, court documents associated with a defamation case between Giuffre and Maxwell revealed that a second girl, Johanna Sjoberg, gave evidence alleging that Andrew had placed his hand on her breast while in Epstein's mansion posing for a photo with his Spitting Image puppet.[85] Later that month, he released a statement, emphasising that, "At no stage during the limited time I spent with [Epstein] did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction," though he expressed regret for meeting him in 2010 after Epstein had already pleaded guilty to sex crimes for the first time.[86] By the end of August 2019, The New Republic also published an email exchange between John Brockman and Evgeny Morozov from September 2013 in which Brockman mentions seeing a British man nicknamed "Andy" receiving a foot massage from two Russian women at Epstein's New York residence during his last visit to the mansion in 2010. He added that he realised "that the recipient of Irina's foot massage was His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York".[87]

Newsnight interview

In November 2019, the BBC's Newsnight arranged an interview between Andrew and presenter Emily Maitlis in which he recounted his friendship with Epstein for the first time.[88] In the interview, Prince Andrew says he met Epstein in 1999 through Maxwell; this contradicts comments made by the Duke's private secretary in 2011, who claims the two met in "the early 1990s".[89] The Duke also said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, saying "the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful".[90]

In the interview, Andrew denied having sex with Giuffre on 10 March 2001, as she had accused, because he had been at home with his daughters after attending a party at PizzaExpress in Woking with his elder daughter Beatrice.[91][92] Prince Andrew also added that Giuffre's claims about dancing with him at a club in London while he was sweaty were false due to him temporarily losing the ability to sweat after an "adrenaline overdose" during the Falklands War.[93] According to physicians consulted by The Times, an adrenaline overdose typically causes excessive sweating in humans.[94]

Andrew also admitted to staying in Epstein's mansion for three days in 2010, after Epstein's conviction for sex offences against a minor, describing the location as "a convenient place to stay". The Duke said that he met Epstein for the sole purpose of breaking off any future relationship with him.[95] He also said that he would be willing to testify under oath regarding his associations with Epstein.[90]


The interview was believed by Maitlis and Newsnight to have been approved by the Queen,[96] although "palace insiders" speaking to The Sunday Telegraph disputed this.[97] One of Prince Andrew's official advisors resigned just prior to the interview being aired.[98] Although the Duke was pleased with the outcome of the interview – reportedly giving Maitlis and the Newsnight team a tour of Buckingham Palace[99] – it received negative reactions from both the media and the public, both in and outside of the UK. The interview was described as a "car crash", "nuclear explosion level bad"[100][101] and the worst public relations crisis for the royal family since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Experts and those with ties to Buckingham Palace said that the interview, its fallout and the abrupt suspension of the Duke's royal duties were unprecedented.[102]

On 19 November 2019, the Students' Union of the University of Huddersfield passed a motion to lobby Andrew to resign as its chancellor, as London Metropolitan University was considering the Duke's role as its patron.[103] On 18 November, accountancy firm KPMG announced it would not be renewing its sponsorship of Prince Andrew's entrepreneurial scheme Pitch@Palace,[104] and on 19 November Standard Chartered also withdrew its support.[105]

On 20 November 2019, a statement from Buckingham Palace announced that Andrew was suspending his public duties "for the foreseeable future". The decision, made with the consent of the Queen, was accompanied by the insistence that the Duke sympathised with Epstein's victims.[3] Other working royals took his commitments over in the short term.[106] On 21 November, the Duke relinquished his role as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield.[107] Three days later, the palace confirmed that Andrew was to step down from all 230 of his patronages, although he expressed a wish to have some sort of public role at some future time.[108]

On 16 January 2020, it was reported that the Home Office was recommending "a major downgrade of security" for Andrew, which would put an end to "his round-the-clock armed police protection".[109] It was later reported that he had been allowed to keep his £300,000-a-year security and the recommendation would be reviewed again in the future.[110] On 28 January 2020, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated that Prince Andrew had provided "zero co-operation" with federal prosecutors and the FBI regarding the ongoing investigations, despite his initial promise in the Newsnight interview when he said he was willing to help the authorities.[111] Buckingham Palace did not comment on the issue, though sources close to the Duke claimed that he "hasn't been approached" by US authorities and investigators,[112] and his legal team announced that he had offered to be a witness "on at least three occasions" but had been refused by the Department of Justice.[113] The US authorities responded to the claim and denied being approached by Andrew for an interview and labeled his claims as a way "to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate".[114]

In March 2020, Andrew hired crisis-management expert Mark Gallagher, who had helped high-profile clients falsely accused in Operation Midland.[115] In April 2020, it was reported that the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy would not be played anymore, after all activities carried out by the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust were stopped.[116] In May 2020, it was reported that the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust was under investigation by the Charity Commission regarding some regulatory issues about £350,000 of payments to his former private secretary Amanda Thirsk.[117] According to The Times, senior personnel in the navy and army consider Andrew to be an embarrassment for the military and believe he should be stripped of his military roles.[118] There have been calls to remove Andrew's name from various institutions; for instance a high school called Prince Andrew High School in Canada is considering a name change because the name "no longer reflects the values of the community."[119] In May 2020 it was announced that Andrew would permanently resign from all public roles over his Epstein ties.[4]

In June 2020, it became known that Andrew is a person of interest in a criminal investigation in the United States, and that the United States had filed a mutual legal assistance request to British authorities in order to question Andrew.[120][121] Newsweek reported that a majority of British citizens believe Andrew should be stripped of his titles and extradited to the United States.[122] Following the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell in July 2020, Andrew cancelled a planned trip to Spain, reportedly due to fears that he might be arrested and extradited to the United States.[123]

In August 2020, anti-child trafficking protesters chanting "Paedophile! Paedophile!" referencing Andrew gathered outside Buckingham Palace, and videos of the protest went viral.[124] In August 2021, royal biographer Penny Junor maintained Prince Andrew's reputation with the public was damaged beyond repair.[125]

In 2020, prosecutors seeking access to Andrew made a formal mutual legal assistance request to the British government.[126] It was reported in August 2021 that American authorities were pessimistic about being able to interview Andrew.[126]

Civil lawsuit

In August 2021, Virginia Giuffre sued Prince Andrew in the federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing him of "sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress."[5] The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.[5]

An affidavit filed by Giuffre's lawyers with the US court stated that paperwork for Giuffre's lawsuit had been left with an office of the Metropolitan Police at Andrew's home at Royal Lodge, Windsor, on 27 August 2021.[127][128] Andrew's legal team denied documents were legally served.[129] The High Court of England and Wales agreed to act, if needed, to serve court documents on Andrew.[130] The Hague Service Convention, a treaty that governs requests between countries for evidence in civil or commercial matters, allows Giuffre's legal team to ask the High Court to formally notify the prince about her civil action.[131]

Lewis A. Kaplan, a New York judge, ruled that legal documents over the sexual assault case that Giuffre filed may be served to Prince Andrew through his Los Angeles-based lawyers.[132][133] The ruling came after Andrew was accused by Giuffre's lawyers of actively trying to evade service of legal documents.[132] On 21 September 2021, lawyers for Giuffre stated in a filing that the papers had been served to and received by Andrew's attorney Andrew Brettler in Los Angeles via email and FedEx the day before,[134] giving the Duke an extended time to file a response to a New York court by 29 October 2021 or face a default judgment.[135][136] In late September 2021, it was reported that a clubber – who had claimed she had seen the Duke with Giuffre at Tramp nightclub[137] – had given a written statement to the FBI and would testify against him, though she stated she could "remember the year" but not "the exact date".[138] Also in September 2021, it was reported that the Queen would use her income from the Duchy of Lancaster private estate to pay for her son's defence case.[139] On 10 October 2021, the Metropolitan Police announced that they had completed their review into documents related to the allegations and, after questioning Giuffre, had decided to drop their investigation.[140] Despite this United States authorities may still prosecute Andrew and he may still be liable for extradition.[141]

Activities and charitable work

Prince Andrew, Russian President Medvedev and Japanese PM Tarō Asō visit the Sakhalin-II oil and gas project in the Russian Far East, 2009

The Duke was patron of the Middle East Association (MEA), the UK's premier organisation for promoting trade and good relations with the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Iran.[142] Since his role as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment ended the Duke continued to support UK enterprise without a special role. Robert Jobson claimed he did this work well and wrote, "He is particularly passionate when dealing with young start-up entrepreneurs and bringing them together with successful businesses at networking and showcasing events. Andrew is direct and to the point, and his methods seem to work."[143]

The Duke was also patron of Fight for Sight, a charity dedicated to research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease,[144] and was a member of the Scout Association.[145] He toured Canada frequently to undertake duties related to his Canadian military role. Rick Peters, the former Commanding Officer of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada stated that Prince Andrew was "very well informed on Canadian military methods."[146]

The Duke of York receives a £249,000 annuity from the Queen.[147] The Sunday Times reported in July 2008 that for "the Duke of York's public role,... he last year received £436,000 to cover his expenses."[148]

While touring India as a part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012,[149] Andrew became interested in the work of Women's Interlink Foundation (WIF), a charity which helps women acquire skills to earn income. He and his family later initiated Key to Freedom, a project which tries to "find a route to market for products made by WIF."[150][151] On 3 September 2012, the Duke of York was among a team of 40 people who abseiled down The Shard (tallest building in Europe) to raise money for educational charities the Outward Bound Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.[152][153]

The Duke of York in his role as the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, 2008.

In 2013, it was announced that the Duke was becoming the patron of London Metropolitan University[154] and the University of Huddersfield.[155][156] In July 2015, he was installed as Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield.[157] In recognition of the Duke's promotion of entrepreneurship he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Hughes Hall in the University of Cambridge on 1 May 2018.[158] He became the patron of the charity Attend[159] in 2003, and was a member of the International Advisory Board of the Royal United Services Institute.

In 2014, the Duke of York founded the Pitch@Palace initiative[160] to support entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas. Entrepreneurs selected for Pitch@Palace Bootcamp are officially invited by the Duke[161] to attend St. James Palace in order to pitch their ideas and to be connected with potential investors, mentors and business contacts.[162] The Duke also founded The Prince Andrew Charitable Trust which aimed to support young people in different areas such as education and training.[163] He also founded a number of awards including Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), a programme to develop the digital and enterprise skills,[164][165] the Duke of York Award for Technical Education, given to talented young people in technical education,[166][167] and the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award, which recognised talents of young people in entrepreneurship.[168] The Duke of York lent his support to organisations that focus on science and technology by becoming the patron of Catalyst Inc and TeenTech.[169][170][171] In 2014, Andrew visited Geneva, Switzerland, to promote British science at CERN's 60th anniversary celebrations.[172] In May 2018, he visited China and opened the Pitch@Palace China Bootcamp 2.0 at Peking University.[173]

In March 2019, the Duke of York took over the patronage of the Outward Bound Trust from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, serving up until his own resignation in November 2019.[174] Prince Andrew had held the position of chairman of the board of trustees of the organisation since 1999.[175] The charity tries to instil leadership qualities among young people.[176] In May 2019, it was announced that the Duke had succeeded Lord Carrington as patron of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust.[177]

Politics and other incidents

Special Representative for International Trade and Investment

The Duke of York with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, 2011

From 2001 until July 2011, the Duke of York worked with UK Trade & Investment, part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.[178] The post, previously held by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, involved representing and promoting the UK at various trade fairs and conferences around the world.[10] His suitability for the role was challenged in the House of Commons by Shadow Justice Minister Chris Bryant in February 2011, at the time of the 2011 Libyan civil war, on the grounds that he was "not only a very close friend of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, but also ... a close friend of the convicted Libyan gun smuggler Tarek Kaituni".[179][180] Further problems arose as he hosted a lunch for Sakher El Materi, a member of the corrupt Tunisian regime, at the Palace around the time of the Tunisian Revolution.[181] Andrew did not receive a salary from the UK Trade & Investment for his role as Special Representative, but he went on expenses-paid delegations and was alleged to have occasionally used trips paid for by the government for his personal leisure, which earned him the nickname "Airmiles Andy" by the press.[181] On 8 March 2011, The Daily Telegraph reported: "In 2010, the Prince spent £620,000 as a trade envoy, including £154,000 on hotels, food and hospitality and £465,000 on travel."[182] Andrew also formed a friendship with Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan who has been criticised for corruption and for abuses of human rights by Amnesty International, and visited him both during and after his tenure as the UK trade envoy. As of November 2014, the Duke had met Aliyev, on 12 separate occasions.[183] The controversies, together with his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, made him step down from the role in 2011.[181]

Alleged comments on corruption and Kazakhstan

As the United Kingdom's Special Trade Representative, the Duke of York travelled the world to promote British businesses. It was revealed in the United States diplomatic cables leak that the Duke had been reported on by Tatiana Gfoeller, the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, discussing bribery in Kyrgyzstan and the investigation into the Al-Yamamah arms deal. The Duke, she explained, "was referencing an investigation, subsequently closed, into alleged kickbacks a senior Saudi royal had received in exchange for the multi-year, lucrative BAE Systems contract to provide equipment and training to Saudi security forces."[184] The dispatch continued: "His mother's subjects seated around the table roared their approval. He then went on to 'these (expletive) journalists, especially from the National Guardian [sic], who poke their noses everywhere' and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business. The crowd practically clapped!"[185]

Earlier in 2010, it was revealed that the Kazakhstan President's billionaire son-in-law Timur Kulibayev paid the Duke of York's representatives £15 million – £3 million over the asking price – via offshore companies, for the Duke's Surrey mansion, Sunninghill Park. Kulibayev frequently appears in US dispatches as one of the men who have accumulated millions in gas-rich Kazakhstan.[185]

In May 2012, it was reported that Swiss and Italian police investigating "a network of personal and business relationships" allegedly used for "international corruption" were looking at the activities of Enviro Pacific Investments which charges "multi-million pound fees" to energy companies wishing to deal with Kazakhstan.[186] The trust is believed to have paid £6 million towards the purchase of Sunninghill which now appears derelict.[186] In response, a Palace spokesman said "This was a private sale between two trusts. There was never any impropriety on the part of The Duke of York".[186]

Libby Purves wrote in The Times in January 2015: "Prince Andrew dazzles easily when confronted with immense wealth and apparent power. He has fallen for 'friendships' with bad, corrupt and clever men, not only in the US but in Libya, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tunisia, wherever."[80]

In May 2016, a fresh controversy broke out when the Daily Mail alleged that the Duke had brokered a deal to assist a Greek and Swiss consortium in securing a £385 million contract to build water and sewerage networks in two of Kazakhstan's largest cities, while working as British trade envoy, and had stood to gain a £4 million payment in commission. The newspaper published an email from the Duke to Kazakh oligarch Kenges Rakishev, (who had allegedly brokered sale of the Prince's Berkshire mansion Sunninghill Park), and claimed that Rakishev had arranged meetings for the consortium. After initially claiming the email was a forgery, Buckingham Palace sought to block its publication as a privacy breach.[187] The Palace strongly denied the allegation that the Duke had acted as a "fixer" calling the article "untrue, defamatory and a breach of the editor's code of conduct."[187]

A former Foreign Office minister, MP Chris Bryant stated: "When I was at the Foreign Office it was very difficult to see in whose interests he [the Duke] was acting. He doesn't exactly add lustre to the Royal diadem."[187]

Arms sales

In March 2011, Kaye Stearman of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade told Channel 4 News CAAT sees Prince Andrew as part of a bigger problem, "He is the front man for UKTI. Our concerns are not just Prince Andrew, it's the whole UKTI set up. They see arms as just another commodity but it has completely disproportionate resources. At the London office of UKTI the arms sector has more staff than all the others put together. We are concerned that Prince Andrew is used to sell arms, and where you sell arms it is likely to be to despotic regimes. He is the cheerleader in chief for the arms industry, shaking hands and paving the way for the salesmen."[188]

In January 2014, Prince Andrew took part in a delegation to Bahrain, a close ally of the United Kingdom. Spokesman for CAAT, Andrew Smith said, "We are calling on Prince Andrew and the UK government to stop selling arms to Bahrain. By endorsing the Bahraini dictatorship Prince Andrew is giving his implicit support to their oppressive practices. When our government sells arms it is giving moral and practical support to an illegitimate and authoritarian regime and directly supporting their systematic crackdown on opposition groups. (...) We shouldn't allow our international image to be used as a PR tool for the violent and oppressive dictatorship in Bahrain."[189]

Andrew Smith has also said, "The prince has consistently used his position to promote arms sales and boost some of the most unpleasant governments in the world, his arms sales haven't just given military support to corrupt and repressive regimes. They've lent those regimes political and international legitimacy."[190]

Election to Royal Society

Andrew's election to the Royal Society prompted "Britain's leading scientists" to "revolt" due to Andrew's lack of scientific background, with some noting he had only a secondary school level education.[191] In an op-ed in The Sunday Times, Humboldt Prize recipient David Colquhoun opined, in references to Andrew's qualifications, that "if I wanted a tip for the winner of the 14.30 at Newmarket, I'd ask a royal. For most other questions, I wouldn't."[191][192]

Allegations of racist language

Rohan Silva, a former Downing Street aide, claimed that, when they met in 2012, the Duke had commented, "Well, if you'll pardon the expression, that really is the nigger in the woodpile."[193] Former home secretary Jacqui Smith also claims that the Duke made offensive comments about Arabs during a state dinner for the Saudi royal family in 2007.[194][195] Buckingham Palace denied that the Duke had used racist language on either occasion.[196]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Royal monogram
  • 19 February 1960 – 23 July 1986: His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew[197]
  • 23 July 1986 – present: His Royal Highness The Duke of York

Andrew is currently the ninth in the line of succession to the throne.[198] On rare occasions, he is known by his secondary titles of Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh, in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.[197][199][200] In 2019 Inverness residents started a campaign to strip him of that title, stating that "it is inappropriate that Prince Andrew is associated with our beautiful city", in light of his friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.[201]

Naval ranks


UK Royal Victorian Order ribbon.svg South Atlantic Medal w rosette BAR.svg QEII Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Ribbon - Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal v3.png CD-ribbon and bar.png New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal ribbon.png




Honorary military appointments

 New Zealand
 United Kingdom


Coat of arms of the Duke of York
Coat of Arms of Andrew, Duke of York.svg
The Duke's personal coat of arms are the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom differenced by a label of three points Argent, the central point charged with an anchor Azure.
The coronet of a son of the sovereign Proper, thereon a lion statant guardant Or crowned of the same coronet charged with a label as in the arms.
Quarterly 1st and 4th Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or 2nd Or a lion rampant Gules within a double tressure flory counterflory Gules 3rd Azure a harp Or stringed Argent
Dexter a lion rampant guardant Or imperially crowned proper, sinister a unicorn Argent, armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet Or composed of crosses patée and fleurs de lis a chain affixed thereto passing between the forelegs and reflexed over the back also Or.
The Order of the Garter ribbon.
Honi soit qui mal y pense
(Shame be to him who thinks evil of it)
Other elements
The whole differenced by a label of three points Argent, the central point charged with an anchor Azure.
Royal Standard of Prince Andrew, Duke of York.svg The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom, labelled for difference as in his arms. (In Scotland: Royal Standard of Prince Andrew, Earl of Inverness.svg)
As with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. The first and fourth quarters are the arms of England, the second of Scotland, the third of Ireland. The anchor has been a brisure for Dukes of York since 1892.

Personal flag for Canada

Flag of the Duke of York for use in Canada

Since 2014, the Duke of York has a personal heraldic flag for use in Canada. It is the Royal Arms of Canada in banner form defaced with a blue roundel surrounded by a wreath of gold maple leaves, within which is a depiction of an "A" surmounted by a coronet. Above the roundel is a white label of three points, the centre one charged with an anchor.[219][220]

Postage stamps

Appears on two stamps with HMS Herald, issued by Saint Helena.[221]


Name Birth Marriage Issue
Date Spouse
Princess Beatrice of York 8 August 1988 17 July 2020 Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi Sienna Mapelli Mozzi
Princess Eugenie of York 23 March 1990 12 October 2018 Jack Brooksbank August Brooksbank




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External links

Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Born: 19 February 1960
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Succession to the British throne
9th in line
Followed by
Princess Beatrice
Peerage of the United Kingdom
7th creation merged with the crown in 1936
Title last held by
The Prince Albert
Duke of York
8th creation
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Duke of York
Succeeded by
Preceded by
in current practice
Academic offices
Preceded by
Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by
President of The Football Association
Succeeded by
Other offices
Preceded by
Special Representative for International Trade and Investment