Prince Charles takes over patronage held by Andrew before Epstein scandal

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Prince Charles has taken over the patronage of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) previously held by his brother Prince Andrew.

Andrew relinquished the role in November 2019 following the controversy surrounding his friendship with disgraced convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York stepped down from all public duties following his disastrous Newsnight interview that month where he tried to explain his friendship with Epstein but was accused of lacking empathy for the financier's victims.

Charles stressed the importance of protecting the arts during the coronavirus pandemic.

RPO managing director James Williams said he was honoured to have Charles as patron.

He said: "At the RPO, we have been hard at work for some months, shaping a bold strategy for our concert, community engagement, inclusion and education programmes to enrich communities when it matters most; we aim to help people and businesses to rebuild after the long, dark months of lockdown.

"With the announcement of the Prince of Wales as our patron and the appointment of Vasily Petrenko as our new music director, the RPO is well placed to lead the resurgence and spread the joy of orchestral music in a post-Covid world."

Andrew had been involved in supporting the RPO for 15 years before relinquishing all public duties.

The funeral of his father Prince Philip, on April 17, was his first appearance at an official royal event since stepping down from his public role 17 months ago.

Sources claimed Andrew had hoped for "rehabilitation" back into public life after his appearance at the funeral, giving an interview after the Duke of Edinburgh's death where he said his passing "left a huge void" for his mother, the Queen.

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Andrew has faced calls to speak to US prosecutors and the FBI.

These intensified after his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was charged with recruiting girls for Epstein, who killed himself in August 2019, to sexually abuse. Maxwell is due to go on trial in July this year and denies the sex trafficking charges.

Virginia Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by Epstein as a teenager, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that she was left "horrified and ashamed" after an alleged sexual encounter with the duke in London in 2001.

Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre.

In his Newsnight interview the Duke said he was at home after taking his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey.

  • BBC
  • Prince Andrew
  • Prince Charles
  • FBI
  • Jeffrey Epstein
  • Ghislaine Maxwell
  • Queen
  • Prince Philip
  • Coronavirus
  • Royal Family

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