Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and second son of HM The Queen, last week announced his departure from public life following a television interview widely compared to a car crash. The duke was questioned about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He said that he had no recollection of cavorting with teenage girls procured for him by Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
The duke subsequently issued a statement saying: “It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support. Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was one of the organisations that enjoyed Prince Andrew’s patronage. He attended, and spoke at, the ICE’s gala bicentenary dinner at its Great George Street headquarters in London last year.
Responding to the loss of its patron, the ICE trustees thanked him for his work and said: “The Institution respects the Duke of York’s decision to step back from public life and to stand down from his patronages including the Institution.
“The Duke has been a strong advocate for the Institution over the period in which he has been our patron and was very supportive during our 200th Anniversary in 2018.
“The Institution is grateful for everything he has done for us and accepts his decision.”
It concluded: “The Institution is not seeking a new patron.”