Prince Andrew loses patronages of NI golf clubs

The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The Queen’s move to strip Prince Andrew of his royal patronages has seen him lose his honorary titles at Royal Portrush, Royal Belfast and Royal County Down golf clubs in Northern Ireland.

The decision by the Queen is part of the fallout from the duke’s civil sexual assault case.

The duke is facing a court showdown after a judge ruled on Wednesday that Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against him could go ahead.

Among the honorary positions he held in Northern Ireland were patronages of the three prestigious golf clubs.

A source close to the clubs said: “There will be immense relief by members that this decision has been taken out of their hands.”

A spokesperson for Royal Portrush said he had no comment to make on the matter.

The Duke of York has lost his patronages at Royal Portrush and Royal County Down golf clubs in NI Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

Andrew visited Royal Portrush when it hosted The Open for the first time in almost 70 years in 2019.

He returned to the links course later in the same year when he spent an afternoon playing a round.

He had been a long-time patron of the club and opened its new clubhouse in 1999.

Ms Giuffre is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law.

The duke has strenuously denied the allegations.