Prince Andrew’s former patronage of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been reallocated to his brother Charles in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
The Duke of York was relinquished of the post by the RPO Board in November 2019 following the controversy around his friendship with the convicted sex offender.
He stepped down from public duties following his disastrous Newsnight interview in which he was accused of lacking empathy for Epstein’s victims.
Heir to the throne Charles stressed the importance of protecting the arts during the pandemic.
Prince Andrew’s former patronage of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been reallocated to his brother Charles (both pictured attending the Most Noble Order of the Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle in June 2015)
RPO managing director James Williams said he was honoured to have Charles as patron. Andrew was involved in supporting the RPO for 15 years
The orchestra, which has welcomed a new music director, Vasily Petrenko, has pledged to help communities recover from the Covid-19 crisis as it prepares to mark its 75th anniversary.
In a statement, the RPO said: ‘The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is delighted to announce that The Prince of Wales has accepted an invitation to become the Orchestra’s Patron.
‘The Prince of Wales has a life-long association with the Arts. During the pandemic His Royal Highness spoke about the importance of protecting the Arts, stressing their enormous importance to life in the UK and to the economy.’
RPO managing director James Williams said he was honoured to have Charles as patron, adding: ‘The era of Covid-19 has presented a seismic challenge for the Arts community but, as lockdown slowly eases, it is time to look forward.
‘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.’
Heir to the throne Prince Charles stressed the importance of protecting the arts during the Covid-19 pandemic (file photo)
Andrew was involved in supporting the RPO for 15 years.
The funeral of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, on April 17, was his first appearance at an official royal event since he ended his time carrying out public duties.
Andrew has faced calls to speak to US prosecutors and the FBI, which intensified after his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was charged with recruiting girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.
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.
The Duke of York (pictured with Charles at the Royal Ascot in 2006) was relinquished of the post by the RPO Board in November 2019 following the controversy around his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein
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