Royal Portrush to consider its links with Prince Andrew

Golf club’s council to discuss patron prince’s decision to step away from public duties

A number of businesses, charities and educational bodies linked to Prince Andrew distance themselves from him because of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. File photograph: AFP/Getty Images.

A number of businesses, charities and educational bodies linked to Prince Andrew distance themselves from him because of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. File photograph: AFP/Getty Images.

 

The council of Royal Portrush golf club in Co Antrim, whose patron is Prince Andrew, is to discuss the current controversy surrounding the senior British royal at its next meeting, it was confirmed on Thursday.

As a number of businesses, charities and educational bodies linked to Prince Andrew distance themselves from him because of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Royal Portrush in a statement confirmed it also was considering its connections with the prince.

“The allegations surrounding Prince Andrew, and especially the trauma and distress suffered by the victims of Jeffrey Epstein is a matter of deep regret,” the golf club said in a statement on Thursday.

“Royal Portrush will continue to monitor the ongoing investigative process. There are no scheduled plans for him to return to the club,” it added.

Prince Andrew visited Royal Portrush in July for the British Open and played the course in September when he attended the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy. This was shortly after Epstein died by suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The trophy competition which carries his name involves young male and female players and is played in different venues around the world annually.

The club stated, “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.”

Royal Portrush was granted British royal patronage in 1892, four years after it was founded.

Companies such as telecoms giant BT, the accountancy firm KPMG and the banking services company Standard Chartered and other businesses, charities and educational organisations have announced they are breaking their ties with the prince.