Prince Andrew's private website is now redirecting users to the duke's official page on the royal family's main site

By Phil Boucher
July 16, 2020 03:25 PM
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Prince Andrew
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty

Prince Andrew has discreetly taken down his personal website.

The Duke of York, 60 — who stepped down from frontline royal duties in November over the "major disruption" caused by his links to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein — previously highlighted his work through thedukeofyork.org.

The site included details of his business initiatives, naval career and key charity initiatives, alongside links to profiles of daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Now the website automatically redirects users to Andrew's official page on the royal family's main website royal.uk, where his biography is listed alongside those of Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

UK Royals

However, one thing has remained constant. As was with Andrew's old website, the "About The Duke of York" page on royal.uk leads directly to the statement provided by the royal after his disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight host Emily Maitliss, which directly prompted the collapse of his official royal role.

He was later forced to give up links to hundreds of charitable patronages and move his personal office out of Buckingham Palace.

Prince Andrew and BBC Newsnight host Emily Maitliss
BBC/Mark Harrison

"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," Andrew wrote.

"Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."

The website redirect is the latest step in this process of withdrawal. While the royal’s Twitter and Instagram accounts remain active the Internet Archive shows the redirect was set up sometime between May 11 and June 25.

Wayback Machine

The change happened before the FBI arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, the former companion of Jeffrey Epstein's, on July 2 in Bedford, New Hampshire.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the British socialite and heiress is married but has declined to reveal her spouse’s name, according to prosecutors at her arraignment in New York.

Appearing via video link from the Metropolitan Detention Center, Maxwell — who was recently pictured sitting on Queen Elizabeth's throne at Buckingham Palace alongside actor Kevin Spacey — pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to entice minors to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to entice minors to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sex acts and perjury.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty

In a court filing obtained by PEOPLE, Maxwell’s attorneys asked for her to be released on a personal recognizance bond of $5 million “co-signed by six financially responsible people, all of whom have strong ties to Ms. Maxwell.” But a judge denied the request Tuesday, ordering her to be held behind bars.

Her trial is scheduled for July 2021.

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In early June, federal prosecutors in New York also reportedly made a formal request through the U.K. to speak with Prince Andrew as part of their criminal investigation into convicted sex offender Epstein.

Andrew's legal firm, Blackfords LLP, responded to claims that the royal hasn't been cooperative, saying, "The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DOJ. Unfortunately, the DOJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the Duke has offered zero cooperation. In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered."