Prince Andrew’s engagements in Northern Ireland are CANCELLED as organisers tell him fallout from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal risked tainting the events
- Organisers have withdrawn Duke’s invitation to Portrush railway station
- But he is still set to attend the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy
- Competition features players under age of 18 from 38 different countries
- None of the appointments in question were cancelled by Royal Family
Published: 16:15 EDT, 3 September 2019 | Updated: 00:57 EDT, 4 September 2019
Prince Andrew’s relationship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein has caused several of the Royal’s public engagements to be cancelled.
The Duke of York’s upcoming appointments in Northern Ireland have been called off amid media scrutiny surrounding his links to the disgraced financier.
Organisers withdrew invitations to the prince, with one worrying his attendance would ‘change the narrative’ about the event in question.
Andrew (left) and his relationship with Epstein (right) has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, sparking concerns from event organisers about his presence changing the narrative
A ceremony at Portrush railway station to mark its £5million upgrade are among the engagements to be scrapped, Sky News reports.
Cancellations at the station as well as other undisclosed venues were as a result of the organisers, not the Royal Family.
Andrew will still attend the annual Duke of York Young Champions Trophy youth tournament at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The Duke will still attend a youth competition at Royal Portrush Gold Club (pictured), unless he cancels it himself
The competition features players under the age of 18 from 38 counties. Rory McIlory is among the people to have competed in the event in the past.
Royal Portrush has been warned that the prince’s presence would be inappropriate after publicity about his relationship with Epstein, who killed himself in jail while facing child sex trafficking charges.
But the committee will not cancel its invitation to Andrew because he is a patron and member.
Andrew returned to royal duties last week at a regatta in Dartmouth (pictured) after holidaying in Spain as scrutiny over his relationship with Epstein grew
They are waiting to hear whether or not the Duke will decide to go ahead with the visit.
The prince admits having known Epstein since 1999, but says that he ‘saw him infrequently’.
In a previous statement he has said that he never witnesses or suspected behaviour of the sort that led to his conviction.
Andrew said that it was a mistake to see the financier after he came out of jail in 2010.
Images of Andrew (left) with Epstein’s alleged ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts (right aged 17 in 2001) were particularly inflammatory
The Queen will be ‘concerned and distressed’ by the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s (he is pictured at a regatta in Devon on Friday, left) links to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (mugshot pictured right)
The Duke says he regrets associating with him at that time and added that the person he thought he knew did not reflect the reality of ‘what we know now’.
Andrew was holidaying in Spain as controversy grew over his link to Epstein, but he has returned for royal duties, starting with a regatta at Dartmouth last week.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman says his next public engagement will be to mark the 75th anniversary of Bruges’ liberation on Saturday.
She said: ‘The Duke of York has a full programme in Northern Ireland as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.
‘HRH will undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.
‘The duke will meet volunteers, supporters and representatives from local businesses, host the tournament dinner, attend the tournament and present prizes.’