Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, KG, GCVO, CD, ADC(P) (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 was second in the line of succession to the British throne when he was born, but he is eighth in line as of December 2019. He holds the rank of vice admiral in the Royal Navy, in which he served as a helicopter pilot and instructor and as the captain of a warship. He served during the Falklands War, flying on multiple missions including anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, and casualty evacuation.

Prince Andrew
Duke of York (more)
The Duke of York in August 2014
Born (1960-02-19) 19 February 1960
Buckingham Palace, London
Sarah Ferguson
(m. 1986; div. 1996)
Full name
Andrew Albert Christian Edward[lower-alpha 1]
FatherPrince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
MotherElizabeth II
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service1979–2001 (active service)
RankVice admiral
Battles/warsFalklands War

In 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson; their marriage, separation, and divorce in 1996 attracted a high level of media coverage. He served as Britain's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment for 10 years until July 2011.

On 20 November 2019, he suspended his public duties for the "foreseeable future" following intense negative reaction regarding a television interview for the BBC's Newsnight programme, aired on 16 November 2019, which was mainly concerned with allegations against him of sexual abuse and his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.[2]

Early life and education

Prince Andrew was born in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palace on 19 February 1960,[3] 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.[lower-alpha 2] He is the namesake of his paternal grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who died 16 years before he was born.

Prince Andrew was the first child born to a reigning monarch since the birth in 1857 of Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice.[5] As with his older siblings, Andrew was looked after by a governess, who was responsible for his early education at Buckingham Palace.[6] He was sent to Heatherdown School near Ascot in Berkshire.[7] In September 1973, he entered Gordonstoun, in northern Scotland, which his father and elder brother had also attended.[8] While there, he spent six months—from January to June 1977—participating in an exchange programme to Lakefield College School in Canada.[7][9] He left Gordonstoun in July two years later with A-Levels[9] in English, History, and Economics.[10]

Military service

Royal Navy

The Royal Household announced in November 1978 that Prince 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, the prince 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, Prince 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.[11] He was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant on 1 September 1981 and appointed to the Trained Strength on 22 October.[12]

After passing out from Dartmouth, the prince 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.[11] 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.[11]

Falklands War

The Falkland Islands, which are a British overseas territory claimed by Argentina,[13] were invaded by Argentina on 2 April 1982, an event that led 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.[14] 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.[15][16][17] He witnessed the Argentinian attack on the SS Atlantic Conveyor.[18]

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.[19] 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."[20]

Career naval officer

In late 1983, Prince Andrew transferred to RNAS Portland, and was trained to fly the Lynx helicopter.[11] On 1 February 1984 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant,[21] whereupon the Queen appointed him as her personal aide-de-camp.[22] Prince Andrew served aboard HMS Brazen as a flight pilot until 1986,[11] 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.[11]

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.[11] 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.[11]

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.[11] He was promoted to Commander on 27 April 1999,[11] finishing his active naval career at the British Ministry of Defence in 2001, as an officer of the Diplomatic Directorate of the Naval Staff.[11] In July of that year, the Duke of York was retired from the Active List of the Navy.[23] Three years later, he was made an Honorary Captain,[24] rather than the substantive rank of Captain, as would be customary. On 19 February 2010, his 50th birthday, he was promoted to Rear Admiral.[25] Five years later, he was promoted to Vice Admiral.[26][27]

Personal life

Personal interests

Prince Andrew is an avid golfer and plays with a low single-figure handicap.[28] 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 an exclusive skiing chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, for between £8 million and £13 million jointly with Sarah Ferguson.[29]

Prince Andrew is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, the senior maritime City livery company.[30] In May 2008, he attended a goose-hunt in Kazakhstan with President Nursultan Nazarbayev.[31]

Relationship with Koo Stark

Prince Andrew met Koo Stark in February 1981, and they were close for some two years, before and after his active service in the Falklands War.[32][33] Tina Brown has claimed that this was Andrew's only serious love interest.[34] In October 1982, they took a holiday together on the island of Mustique.[35] According to Lady Colin Campbell, Andrew was in love, and the Queen was "much taken with the elegant, intelligent, and discreet Koo".[36] However, in 1983, they split up, under pressure from press, paparazzi, and palace.[32][34] In 1997, Andrew became godfather to Stark's daughter,[37] and in 2015, when Andrew was facing accusations from Virginia Roberts Guiffre over his connection to Jeffrey Epstein (see below), Stark came to his defence, stating that he was a good man and she could help to rebut the claims.[32]

Marriage to Sarah Ferguson

Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey on 23 July 1986. The same day, the Queen created him Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh.[38] 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.[39]

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.[40] 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."[41]

The couple agreed to share custody of their two daughters, and the Duchess continued to live at the Duke's home, Sunninghill Park, until 2004, when he moved to the Royal Lodge. In 2003, Richard Kay, in his first gossip column for the Daily Mail, asserted that the Duke was about to marry the businesswoman Amanda Staveley. She was reported in The Sunday Telegraph as saying, "I will not be marrying Andrew now or in the future." In 2007, Sarah, Duchess of York, purchased Dolphin House, a mansion directly beside the Royal Lodge. In 2008, a fire at Dolphin House resulted in Sarah moving into the Royal Lodge, again sharing a house with the Duke of York. Prince Andrew's lease of Royal Lodge is for 75 years, with the Crown Estate as landlord, and there is no annual tenancy charge.[42]

In May 2010, Sarah, Duchess of York, 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.[43] 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".[44]

Friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and sex abuse allegations

In March 2011, it was reported that the Duke's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier and convicted sex offender, was producing "a steady stream of criticism". Sarah, Duchess of York, disclosed that the Duke helped arrange for Epstein to pay off some of her debts.[45] The Duke was photographed in December 2010 strolling with Epstein in Central Park during a visit to New York City, according to The Daily Telegraph, while negotiating this financial help.[46] In July 2011, the Duke was reported to have cut all ties with Epstein,[47] and the Duke's role as Trade Envoy was terminated that month.[48]

In January 2015, there was renewed pressure for Buckingham Palace to explain the Duke's connection with Epstein.[49] Peter Oborne, writing in The Daily Telegraph in January 2015, stated that "the proven facts are grim enough. What was the prince doing, in the first place, with Epstein, who was jailed in 2008 for soliciting young girls for under-age prostitution?"[50]

The same month, Virginia Roberts Guiffre made allegations of sexual impropriety against the Duke in court papers related to a civil action in Florida arising from her connection to the Epstein case, but to which the Duke was not a party. Roberts claimed that the Duke was among men, including "a former prime minister" and Alan Dershowitz, who had sex with her while she was a teenager.[51] She alleged Epstein paid her £10,000 to have sex with the Duke.[52] She asserted that she had sex with the Duke on three occasions, including a trip to London in 2001, when she was 17[53] and again in New York and on a private Caribbean island.[54] Flight logs show the Duke and Virginia Roberts were in the places she alleges the sex happened.[55] The Duke and Roberts were also photographed together with the Duke's arm round her waist,[56] though Andrew's friends have repeatedly claimed the photo is fake and edited.[57] Roberts said she was pressured to have sex with the Duke and "wouldn't have dared object" and feared leaving, as she felt Epstein, through contacts, could have got her "killed or abducted". The allegations have, as of early 2015, not been tested in any court,[58] but Roberts repeated allegations against the Duke and against Epstein in a sworn legal statement under penalty of perjury.[59]

Buckingham Palace stated that "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue", later repeating the denials.[60][61] Lawyers for Roberts claim a request to the Duke for a statement under oath about the allegations was returned unanswered.[62][63] When the Duke was asked about the allegations by a journalist at the World Economic Forum, he refused to answer and left the room.[64]

Dershowitz said, "she's lied about me ... she should not be believed about anyone else ... it must be presumed all her allegations against Prince Andrew were false as well."[51] Dershowitz initiated legal proceedings contesting the allegations and he and Epstein were suing the lawyers representing Roberts.[49][65] In response Virginia Roberts stated she would not "be bullied back into silence."[66]

On 7 April 2015, Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that the "sex allegations made against Prince Andrew in court papers filed in Florida must be struck from the public record".[67][68] Marra made no ruling as to whether claims by Roberts are true or false, specifically stating that Roberts may later give evidence when the case comes to court.[69]

In August 2019, court documents associated with a defamation case, involving Ghislaine Maxwell, revealed that a second girl, Joanna Sjoberg, gave evidence alleging that Prince Andrew had placed his hand on her breast while seated with Roberts in Epstein's mansion while posing for a photo with his Spitting Image puppet.[70] Later that month, the Duke released a statement, emphasizing 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.[71] By the end of August 2019, The New Republic magazine also published an email exchange between John Brockman and Evgeny Morozov from September 2013 in which Brockman mentions seeing a British guy 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 then added that he "realized that the recipient of Irina's foot massage was His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York".[72]

Newsnight interview and repercussions

In November 2019, the BBC's Newsnight recorded an interview between Prince Andrew and Emily Maitlis in which he recounted his friendship with Epstein for the first time. The interview was recorded in Buckingham Palace on 14 November and was broadcast on 16 November.[73] In the interview, Prince Andrew says he met Epstein in 1999 through British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell; this contradicts comments made by the Duke's private secretary in 2011, who claims the two met in "the early 1990s".[74] He 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".[75]

In the interview he denied having sex with Virginia Roberts on 10 March 2001, as she had accused, because he had been at home with his daughters, having taken his elder daughter Beatrice, to a party at PizzaExpress in Woking.[76][77] The Duke said that he had "no recollection of ever meeting" Roberts[78] and that he had "absolutely no memory" of a photograph taken of him with Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London. He said he had investigations carried out to establish whether the photograph was faked, but they had been inconclusive.[79] He also claimed that he had never been upstairs in Maxwell's house and questioned his attire, saying that the clothes he wore in the photograph were his "travelling clothes" that he did not wear while in the country; however, the Daily Mail revealed photographic evidence that the Duke wore similar clothing on a 2000 night out in London.[80]

Prince Andrew also added that her 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.[81] "Several doctors" told The Times they did not believe this explanation, as adrenaline overdose typically causes excessive sweating in humans. It has been previously said that his mother the Queen has not been seen sweating in public, raising the possibility of inherited anhidrosis (although this was not the explanation given by the Duke).[82] After the interview's release, pictures of Prince Andrew that appear to show him sweating while dancing, around the time the events were alleged to have taken place, were published online.[83]

Prince 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". However, he said "I kick myself on a daily basis" for the decision "because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family", adding that he "let the side down".[75] He said that he met Epstein for the sole purpose of breaking off any future relationship with him, saying that it was "the honourable and right thing to do", adding that one of his flaws was that he was "too honourable" a person.[84] He also said that, if "push came to shove" (and after consultation with his legal teams), he would be willing to testify under oath regarding his associations with Epstein.[75]

The interview was believed by Maitlis and Newsnight to have been approved by Queen Elizabeth II,[85] although "palace insiders" speaking to The Sunday Telegraph disputed this.[86] One of the Duke's official advisors resigned just prior to the interview being aired.[87] Although the Duke was pleased with the outcome of the interview – reportedly giving Maitlis and the Newsnight team a tour of Buckingham Palace[88] – it received negative reactions from both the media and the public, both in and outside of the UK. It was described as a "car crash" and "nuclear explosion level bad"[89][90] 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.[91]

On 19 November 2019, the Students' Union of the University of Huddersfield passed a motion to lobby the Duke to resign as its chancellor, as London Metropolitan University was considering the Duke's role as its patron.[92] On 18 November, accountancy firm KPMG announced it would not be renewing its sponsorship of Prince Andrew's entrepreneurial scheme Pitch@Palace,[93] and on 19 November Standard Chartered also withdrew its support.[94]

On 20 November 2019, a statement from Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke 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.[2] Other working royals are expected to take his commitments over in the short term.[95] On 24 November, the palace confirmed that Andrew was to step down from all 230 of his patronages, although he expressed his wish to have some sort of public role at some point again.[96]

Trade, business, activities, and charitable work

In 1999, Prince Andrew succeeded his father (the Duke of Edinburgh) as chairman of the Outward Bound Trust and served up until his own resignation in November 2019.[97] The charity tries to instil leadership qualities among young people.[98] 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.[99] 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.[6] 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".[100] The Duke is 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.[101] Since that ended the Duke continued to support UK enterprise without a special role. Robert Jobson claims he does 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." [102]

The Duke is also Patron of Fight for Sight, a charity dedicated to research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease,[103] and was a member of the Scout Association.[104] He tours 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 is "very well informed on Canadian military methods."[105]

The Duke of York receives a £249,000 annuity from the Queen.[106] 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."[107] 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."[108]

While touring India as a part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012,[109] 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."[110][111] 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.[112][113]

In 2013, it was announced that the Duke was becoming the Patron of London Metropolitan University[114] and the University of Huddersfield.[115][116] In July 2015, he was installed as Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield.[117] 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.[118] He became the Patron of the charity Attend[119] in 2003, and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Royal United Services Institute.

In 2014, the Duke of York founded the Pitch@Palace initiative[120] to support entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas. Entrepreneurs selected for Pitch@Palace Bootcamp are officially invited by the Duke[121] to attend St. James Palace in order to pitch their ideas and to be connected with potential investors, mentors and business contacts.[122] The Duke has also founded The Prince Andrew Charitable Trust which aims to support young people in different areas such as education and training.[123] He has also founded a number of awards including Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), a programme to develop the digital and enterprise skills,[124][125] the Duke of York Award for Technical Education, given to talented young people in technical education,[126][127] and the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award, which recognises talents of young people in entrepreneurship.[128] The Duke of York has lent his support to organisations that focus on science and technology by becoming the patron of Catalyst Inc and TeenTech.[129][130][131] In 2014, Andrew visited Geneva, Switzerland, to promote British science at CERN's 60th anniversary celebrations.[132] In May 2018, he visited China and opened the Pitch@Palace China Bootcamp 2.0 at Peking University.[133]

In March 2019, the Duke of York took over the patronage of the Outward Bound Trust from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Andrew had held the position of chairman of the board of trustees since 1999.[134] In May 2019, it was announced that the Duke had succeeded Peter Carrington as patron of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust.[135]


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."[136] 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!"[137]

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.[138]

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.[139] The trust is believed to have paid £6 million towards the purchase of Sunninghill which now appears derelict.[139] 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".[139]

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."[58]

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 secure 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.[140] 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.[141] 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."[141]

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."[141] There were calls for an official enquiry, the head of campaign group Republic saying "this appears to represent abuse of Andrew's position as trade envoy."[142]

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.[143] 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."[143][144]

Meetings with Ilham Aliyev

As of November 2014, the Duke had met Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, on 12 separate occasions.[145] He had to stand down as a trade envoy for the UK in 2011 following controversy over his friendship with Aliyev, who has been criticised for corruption and for abuses of human rights by Amnesty International, but he has continued to visit him in Azerbaijan since standing down.[145]

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."[146]

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."[147]

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."[148]

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."[149] 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.[150][151] Buckingham Palace denied that the Duke had used ­racist language on either occasion.[152]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 1960–1986: His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew[153]
  • 1986–present: His Royal Highness The Duke of York

Andrew is currently the eighth in the line of succession to the throne.[154] He is known by his secondary titles of Earl of Inverness in Inverness and Baron Killyleagh in Killyleagh.[153]





Honorary military appointments

New Zealand
United Kingdom


Coat of arms of the Duke of York
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.
The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom, labelled for difference as in his arms. (In Scotland: )
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

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.[170][171]

Postage stamps

Appears on two stamps with HMS Herald, issued by Saint Helena.[172]


Name Birth Marriage
Date Spouse
Princess Beatrice of York8 August 1988
Princess Eugenie of York23 March 199012 October 2018Jack Brooksbank




  1. Andrew does not usually use a surname but when one is needed, it is Mountbatten-Windsor.[1]
  2. His godparents were: the Duke of Gloucester (his maternal great-uncle); Princess Alexandra of Kent (his first cousin once removed); Hugh Fitzroy, Earl Euston, as he then was; the Lord Elphinstone (his first cousin once removed); and Mrs Harold Phillips (later Lady Kennard).[4]


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  • Photographs (1985) by HRH Prince Andrew, a book of photographs taken by Andrew
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Born: 19 February 1960
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
Succession to the British throne
8th in line
Followed by
Princess Beatrice of York
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Prince of Wales
& Duke of Rothesay
The Duke of York
Succeeded by
The Earl of Wessex
Preceded by
The Duke of Cambridge
in current practice
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Patrick Stewart
Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield
Sporting positions
Preceded by
The Duke of Kent
President of The Football Association
Succeeded by
The Duke of Cambridge
Other offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Kent
Special Representative for International Trade and Investment

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