York & North Yorkshire

Prince Andrew quits as patron of York Minster Fund

York Minster West Front Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The York Minster Fund raises an average of £1m each year to pay for repairs and renovations

Prince Andrew has resigned from his role as royal patron of the York Minster Fund.

It is the latest organisation to cut its connection with the Duke of York over the controversy about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Last month, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance said the prince had stood down from his role with the charity.

The Minster thanked Prince Andrew for his support over the years.

In a statement the fund said: "The Duke of York has been the Royal Patron of York Minster Fund for 15 years and in this role has been very supportive of our work.

"However following his decision to step back from public life, and recognising that the Fund needs an active patron to champion its work, HRH Prince Andrew has decided to resign from this role."

The charity was founded in 1967 to raise funds to repair the cathedral's 197ft (60m) Central Tower after a survey showed it was sinking under its own weight.

The fund's website said it raised an average of £1m each year "to support ongoing conservation and restoration as well as the cathedral's work in music, learning and education".

Image copyright News Syndication
Image caption Prince Andrew has faced criticism over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

For several months the duke had been facing questions over his ties to US financier Epstein, who took his own life in August while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers, claimed she was forced to have sex with the prince three times. The duke has always denied any form of sexual contact or relationship with her.

In November, the 59 year-old-prince announced he would step back from royal duties and all organisations he is patron of because the Epstein scandal had become a "major disruption" to the Royal Family.

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites