Prince Andrew’s flagship UK business to close following Epstein sex scandal
Prince Andrew’s flagship business is to be shut down in Britain in the latest fallout from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. The Duke of York has already been forced to step back from royal duties while Pitch@Palace CIC, based at Buckingham Palace, has been shrouded in uncertainty since his car-crash BBC Newsnight interview.
Trustees have decided the project has no future while three directors have also threatened to quit its global arm if he does not give up control, a source said. The British side of the company is controlled by the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust, though Pitch@Palace Global is owned by the the 59-year-old prince himself.
He is understood to be reluctant to relinquish involvement in the overseas sister company.
But the departures of Martin Dunnett, a private equity executive, Alex Johnston, an app developer, and Martin Harriman, a telecoms entrepreneur are apparently imminent. It would leave only two directors on board: Amanda Thirsk, the Duke’s private secretary, and Johan Eliasch, a private equity executive.
Prince Andrew did not express regret over his association with Epstein during the Newsnight interview. In his attempts to continue to ‘lie low’ the shamed Duke will also not be celebrating the New Year with his family at their £13million ski chalet.
The property was bought in 2014.
The extravagant pad boasts seven bedrooms, a heated indoor swimming pool with an entertaining area and a sauna. Family pictures from 1998 show Prince Andrew celebrating his 38th birthday at the resort in Switzerand’s Valais Canton, with his daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, then aged eight and 10.
Andrew has been accused of having sex with Virginia Guiffre, one of billionaire Epstein’s victims, three times including when she was under age, after she was pressured into it.
The Duke of York claimed to have no recollection of meeting Virginia and denies all allegations of sexual activity.