Prince Andrew’s legal battles still don’t have an outcome, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of people from distancing themselves. Most recently: The plethora of UK pubs that are called the “Duke of York,” many of whom are now reportedly looking at name-changes in light of the scandal.
Prince Andrew has been accused by Virginia Giuffre of sexual abuse on three occasions when she was 17 years old, in connection with Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew denies the allegations, and this month filed a motion to dismiss the civil charges against him in the U.S. courts. However, the federal judge presiding over the case denied the motion, and now it seems that, regardless of the outcome of the case, the royal family is trying to minimize the reputation damage to the rest of them.
Last week, the Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military titles and his HRH title. While she does not have the ability to take away his Duke of York title, which must be done by an act of Parliament, the City of York Council is petitioning to have him stripped of that as well.
Next up, reports the Mirror, Duke of York pubs are evaluating whether to change their names to avoid links with the disgraced royal. “Pubs across the UK are considering whether their establishments should get rebranded,” the publication wrote.
However, worth considering is the fact that the Duke of York has only been associated with Prince Andrew since 1986, when he was bestowed the title on his wedding day to Sarah Ferguson. The title has been given to royals—typically the younger, “spare” heir to the monarchy—since the 14th century, and has been held by eleven other royals prior to Prince Andrew.
That history is why some of the Duke of York pubs intend to weather the latest PR crisis and keep the name. George Cork, general manager of the Duke of York pub in Southwark, London, told the Mirror, “There’s no plans to change the name. The Duke of York has been called The Duke of York for a long time now – it’s about a title and the original Duke of York from the 1300s. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but he’s not affiliated with us in any way.”
There are good arguments for and against changing a pub’s name to avoid affiliations with the current Duke. Either way, the fact that the conversation is happening at all does not bode well for Prince Andrew’s rumored comeback plans.
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