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What are Royal patronages?

PRINCE Andrew was STRIPPED of his royal title and royal patronages in January 2022, in light of his looming lawsuit in the US.

But what are royal patronages, and why did the Duke of York lose his? Here's what we know.

What is a Royal patronage?

Essentially, a “royal patronage” is when a member of the Royal Family becomes an official patron, or sponsor, of an organisation.

Currently, 3,000 organisations list a member of the Royal Family as their patron, and the Royal Family receives thousands of requests a year from organisations asking for their patronage.

These organisations can be anything from charities to military associations, or professional bodies and public service organisations.

Having a royal patron can bring vital publicity to the organisations that need it most.

The Royal website says that patronages are in very high demand, but they are always selective with the places they decide to represent.

The site reads: ”Royal patronages add status to an organisation, and visits and involvement from a Royal Patron can often bring much needed publicity.

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“For this reason, members of the Royal Family tend to limit their patronages to a manageable number to ensure that they can give each organisation a significant amount of their time.

"The exceptions to this are The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh who hold over a thousand Patronages between them, many of which were inherited from previous Monarchs."

The first-ever recorded patronage was George II supporting the Society of Antiquaries, an organisation concerned with architectural and art conservation.

And, when a royal is stripped of their patronages, they are usually redistributed among the rest of the Royal Family, to ensure the organisations have the ongoing support they need.

What patronages did Prince Andrew have?

Many charities that Prince Andrew was associated with cut ties with the Duke in 2019.

However, Andrew was listed on the royal website as a patron to 100 charities and organisations, which includes hospital trusts, cricket clubs and UK schools.

They included Horris Hill School in Hampshire, the Army Officers' Golfing Society, Killyleagh Yacht Club, Berkshire County Cricket Club, and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

On Thursday, January 13, 2022, it was also revealed that the Duke had lost his honorary titles at Royal Portrush and Royal County Down golf clubs in Northern Ireland.

Following a 22-year career in the Royal Navy, Andrew was also stripped of his several honorary military titles.

Those positions are:

  • Colonel of the Grenadier Guards
  • Royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, (Canada)
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Lancers
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers of Canada
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Queen's York Rangers
  • Colonel-in-chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
  • Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth
  • Commodore-in-chief of the Fleet Air Arm

Why has he lost his patronages?

The Buckingham Palace bombshell was announced on January 13, 2022, and comes amid growing anger at the Duke of York's sex assault lawsuit with Virginia Guiffre.

The historic decision followed talks within the family about the growing problem and the Duke will now face his US lawsuit as a "private citizen", meaning he can't hide behind royal privileges. 

Judge Lewis Kaplan gave the go-ahead for a civil trial before a jury in New York later this year for his civil case with Ms Giuffre who claims she was sexually abused when aged 17.

Ms Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York three times back in 2001, before the age of 18.

Her bombshell allegations have dogged Andrew, 61, since 2011 but Prince Andrew strongly denies any wrongdoing and has even said he's never met Ms Giuffre.

Andrew is reportedly seeking an out-of-court settlement for Ms Giuffre which could be up to £10million.

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