Adding fuel to the already raging fire, Buckingham Palace has given the go-ahead to Prince Andrew to continue his association with Pitch@ Palace project, a business mentoring initiative started by the Duke to help entrepreneurs connect with investors.
The Duke of York was stripped off his royal duties after facing severe backlash over his ties with American billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. One of Epstein's victims, Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, claimed that she was forced by Epstein to indulge in sexual encounter with Andrew when she was merely 17 years old. The decision to remove the Prince was taken by Queen Elizabeth II after consulting Prince Charles.
Interview unmasks remorseless Andrew
The controversy gained momentum following Saturday's disastrous interview of the Duke in which he denied the charges levelled against him by Virginia. Apart from showing no sympathies for Epstein's victims, Andrew did not show any remorse for being friends with the dead paedophile.
In a statement issued recently, the Palace said that Andrew will continue to be involved with Pitch@Palace. "But will look at how he takes this forward outside of his public duties, and outside of the palace. Naturally there will be a transition period while this takes place," Buckingham Palace said.
Following the scandal, more than 20 major companies and charities, including Barclays, KPMG and the English National Ballet, distanced themselves from Andrew's charities and the projects that he was promoting.
Barclays, Standard Chartered and KPMG shun Andrew
While Barclays said it was concerned about the situation involving the Queen's 59-year-old son and was keeping its involvement with Pitch@Palace under review, telecom giant BT stated that it would only continue to back digital skills award programme iDEA if Andrew was dropped as patron of the project. Earlier, Standard Chartered Bank and accounting firm KPMG had decided not to renew its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace.
There were also reports that the disgraced Prince is all set to bring on board his sacked personal secretary Amanda Thirsk, who has been given the boot by the palace, following her role in pursuing the Prince to undertake the interview in Buckingham Palace.
Royal Portrush update
In a statement issued recently, Royal Portrush Golf Club said: "The allegations surrounding Prince Andrew, and especially the trauma and distress suffered by the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, is a matter of deep regret. Royal Portrush will continue to monitor the ongoing investigative process. There are no scheduled plans for him to return to the club. The council of Royal Portrush is acutely aware of the widespread public concern about these allegations and Prince Andrew's decision to step away from public duties will be discussed at our next meeting.'
Prince Andrew, who also lost the £249,000 Sovereign Grant 'salary' from the Sovereign Grant, a public money fund to finance the work the royals do on behalf of United Kingdom, was also removed as the Chancellor of University of Huddersfield. Incidentally, it was the only university that backed the Duke when the other 189 charities and institutions withdrew their association with him.
Epstein victims' lawyer vows to chase Andrew
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing five of Epstein's victims, demanded further action by the prince. In a tweet, she wrote: "I've been working with my 5 Epstein victim clients for months. Prince Andrew was simply not credible in his interview. He and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents. We are just getting started."
Even though, Andrew's royal career has ended, he still remains a member of the royal family and might still attend major national state events including appearances on Buckingham Palace's balcony following the Trooping the Colour ceremony and Remembrance Sunday service at Whitehall's Cenotaph.