About The Duke of York

The Duke of York undertakes a wide range of public work, with a strong economic and business focus. In recent years, His Royal Highness has concentrated his activity on three core areas in which he believes he can have the greatest impact: education and skills, entrepreneurship and science, technology and engineering. Following 22-years of service with the Royal Navy, The Duke also has an active interest in supporting military organisations and charities. His Royal Highness's time is split between supporting The Queen at national and international events and attending his own engagements in the UK and overseas – many of which help promote and reward the work of the 200-plus charities and organisations of which he is Patron.

Much of The Duke of York's work is focussed on promoting economic growth and skilled job creation in the UK, with particular emphasis on education and skills, entrepreneurship and science, technology and engineering. He has a wide and varied portfolio of work which includes a number of charitable trusts and awards which he has founded, such as The Prince Andrew Charitable Trust, which focuses on supporting young people; healthcare issues; and the participation of the disabled and wounded servicemen and women in sporting activities. The Duke has over 200 patronages, and devotes his working life supporting the many charities and organisations of which he is Patron, as well as pursuing his particular interests.  

Business and innovation

His Royal Highness supports the individuals and organisations which are working to keep the UK a global economic leader. In the field of education, The Duke is committed to supporting a wide range of options for students, including vocational learning to ensure that young people develop relevant skills to allow them to become economically active. 

The Duke believes that entrepreneurs will create economic growth and more jobs in the future, and he supports initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship. The Duke of York founded Pitch@Palace – an annual event at which budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a roomful of potential supporters from the business community – with this aim in mind. 

I am immensely proud of the achievements of the Entrepreneurs in the Pitch@Palace programme, they have shone a light on the diversity and imagination across the country, clearly demonstrating that pursuing an idea or dream can be realised with knowledge and determination

The Duke of York

His Royal Highness also founded a number of awards, including the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) which aims to improve the digital and enterprise skills of one million young people in the next five years, The Duke of York Award for Technical Education and The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award. 

The Duke promotes and raises awareness of British science, technology and engineering expertise in the UK through engaging with organisations to support initiatives which attract increased investment into UK industries, including the Northern Ireland Science Park, Teen Tech and UK Science and Technology Clusters.

The Outward Bound Trust 

The Duke of York succeeded The Duke of Edinburgh as Executive Chairman of The Outward Bound Trust in 1999. The Trust aims to inspire young people to fulfil their potential and instil leadership qualities through challenging outdoor activities. Throughout his education, His Royal Highness benefited from taking part in outdoor activities to develop teamwork and leadership skills, and has always been keen to support the effort to extend similar experiences to more young people.

Key to Freedom

In 2012 - The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year - The Duke founded 'Key to Freedom' following his visit to Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF) in India. The aim of WIF is to empower women who have been victims of abuse by helping them to develop the skills to become economically independent. They rescue, shelter and care for girls and women who, unfortunately, have faced cruelty in their early lives. As part of this care, the women learn screen printing, sewing, and jewellery making, as well as valuable life skills such as cooking and health education. 'Key to Freedom' provides a market for the goods made by these women in the UK. 

Find out more about Key to Freedom: www.keytofreedom.org
Find out more about the Women’s Interlink Foundation: www.womensinterlinkfoundation.org

Biography

The Duke of York was born at Buckingham Palace on 19 February 1960, the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years. He is the second son and third child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. Christened Andrew Albert Christian Edward, he was titled The Prince Andrew until his marriage in 1986, when he was created The Duke of York by The Queen. Prince Andrew was educated at Heatherdown Preparatory School in Ascot and Gordonstoun School in Morayshire, Scotland.

On 23 July 1986 His Royal Highness married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey. The Duke and Duchess of York’s first child, Princess Beatrice, was born on 8 August 1988 at The Portland Hospital in London. Their second child, Princess Eugenie, was also born at The Portland Hospital on 23 March 1990. The Princesses are seventh and eighth in the line of succession respectively. In March 1992, it was announced that The Duke and Duchess of York were to separate. They were divorced in 1996.

Service in the Royal Navy

Prince Andrew had wanted to become a helicopter pilot from an early age. In 1979, upon completion of A-levels, His Royal Highness joined the Royal Navy on a short-service commission as a Seaman Officer, sub-specialising as a Pilot. Midshipman Prince Andrew passed out of Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1980, before undergoing fixed-wing and helicopter flight training at RAF Leeming and Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose respectively. In 1981, His Royal Highness was presented with his ‘Wings’ and the award for the best pilot by The Duke of Edinburgh.

Sub Lieutenant Prince Andrew converted to the Sea King helicopter, before joining his first front-line unit: 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) embarked in HMS INVINCIBLE. In April 1982 the unit sailed as part of the Task Group to the South Atlantic to regain the Falkland Islands. During the conflict His Royal Highness flew missions including Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), inter-ship Helicopter Delivery (HDS), Search and Rescue (SAR) and casualty evacuation. Upon return to Portsmouth in September 1982, HMS INVINCIBLE was met by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duke’s active service with the Royal Navy spanned twenty-two years during which, as Lt Cder The Duke of York, he was selected to command the Hunt Class Mine Counter Measures Vessel HMS COTTESMORE. His Royal Highness returned to flying duties, taking up an appointment as Senior Pilot of 815 NAS at RNAS Portland, where he served until October 1996. In January 1997, he was appointed to the Ministry of Defence as a Staff Officer in the Directorate of Naval Operations. Promoted Commander in 1999, he took up an appointment within the Naval Staff, before departing from active service with the Royal Navy in July 2001.

Role as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment

After completing his military career, The Duke was invited to take up a new position as the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. Working with Her Majesty’s Government, and specifically UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the role involved promoting Britain as a destination for inward investment, and creating favourable conditions for UK businesses exporting and investing overseas. His Royal Highness undertook this role for almost a decade, until 2011.

2011 to present

Today, The Duke works with entrepreneurs to support the amplification and acceleration of their activities. His Royal Highness engages with a broad range of organisations providing programmes and schemes which facilitate the growth of smaller entrepreneurial ventures and companies, including accelerators and incubators.

The Duke also leads on a range of initiatives to support and encourage entrepreneurial activity. These include: iDEA (Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award - www.onemillionyoungideas.org.uk); Pitch at the Palace (www.pitchatpalace.com); The Duke of York New Entrepreneur Award and The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award.

 

Supporting The Queen

As a working member of the Royal Family, an important part of The Duke of York's role is to support The Queen's work as Head of State. He does this through representing Her Majesty at events and visits in the UK and abroad; receiving Heads of State and Government officials, and attending state and ceremonial occasions.

The Duke of York attends a number of important occasions each year which are led by The Queen in order to show support for her role as Monarch. These include The Queen's Birthday Parade – also known as Trooping the Colour – in June each year; the national Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in London, and The Queen's Garden Parties, which give him the opportunity to meet members of charities, organisations and military personnel from across the Commonwealth. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie often accompany their father to both Trooping the Colour and Garden Parties. 

His Royal Highness also represents The Queen during visits to Commonwealth and overseas countries. To mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, The Duke of York represented Her Majesty on a visit to India, travelling to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kohima. 

Whilst in India, The Duke visited the Agragami Project - which aims to improve the lives of some of Delhi's most vulnerable families – as well as meeting key business leaders and visiting educational and military organisations. He became the first member of the Royal Family to travel to Kohima - the capital of the North-Eastern Indian state of Nagaland - where he visited the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and paid tribute to Indian and British soldiers killed in the Battle of Kohima during World War II.

In 2015, The Duke of York represented The Queen at events in Singapore to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Independence. Whilst in Singapore, His Royal Highness attended the city state's Golden Jubilee celebrations and a National Day Parade.

His Royal Highness also represented Her Majesty at the opening ceremony of the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea in 2015 where he delivered a message from The Queen, which sent her best wishes to all the athletes, saying:

'It is encouraging to see 24 countries from around the Pacific region, come together every four years through sport, to reinforce their common bonds and shared interests.'

Charities and Patronages

  • ( British ) Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League

    Charity providing financial aid to needy ex-Service men and women around the Commonwealth.

    Region: Other Commonwealth Country
    Members of the Royal Family:
    Her Majesty The Queen, Patron
    The Duke of York, Grand President
  • 21st Doncaster Scout Group

    Scout group in Doncaster.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Patron
  • 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's)

    Cavalry regiment of the British Army.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Colonel In Chief
  • Action on Hearing Loss

    Medical charity for the deaf and hard of hearing.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Patron
  • Air Squadron

    Supports British military and civil aviation.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Honorary Member
    The Duke of Edinburgh, Honorary Air Commodore
  • Alderney Maritime Trust

    Trust established to protect an Elizabethan wreck discovered off the coast of Alderney.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Patron
  • Army Museums Ogilby Trust

    Trust which provides financial assistance and consultancy to Army regimental museums.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Patron
  • Army Officers' Golfing Society

    Promotes the sport of golf in the British Army.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Patron
  • Army Rifle Association

    Website: www.royal.uk

    Association which promotes interest in small arms shooting for Service purposes.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, Patron
  • Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)

    Information for visitors to some of Britain's biggest and best-known attractions, attracting 1 million visitors a year to the UK.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of York, President

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