Mounting pressure on Royal

Duke of York ‘quits Pitch@Palace role’ as support dwindles

Duke of York 2

Trouble at Palace: The duke’s problems are mounting

The Duke of York is believed to have resigned from his role with his flagship business project Pitch@Palace after a series of companies withdrew their support.

Unconfirmed reports suggest he has succumbed to pressure to step down from the start-up initiative in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and the Duke’s heavily-criticised television interview on his friendship with the late convicted sex offender.

Sponsors such as KPMG, Standard Chartered and Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications company, have all pulled out of the Pitch project. Barlays has also pulled out.

The Prince is also understood to have cancelled a planned trip to the Middle East this weekend on Pitch duty following pressure from his family.

His private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, who has worked for the duke since 2012, has been switched into a new role as chief executive of the initiative, renamed Pitch.

On Wednesday, he announced he was stepping down from his royal duties for the “foreseeable future”.

According to the Pitch@Palace web site, it claimed to have generated 6,323 jobs, while 39% of its winners were female.

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