Supporters are pushing for Prince Andrew to end associations with Pitch@Palace after backers decide to cut ties with the charity. It has been claimed that companies previously supporting the charity have taken a step back in their support as a measure of protecting their reputations.
Founded by the Duke of York himself in 2014, Pitch@Palace is a charity that helps to provide support and opportunities for entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses. The project not only introduces budding entrepreneurs to mentors and advisors, but also helps them with investments and networking opportunities.
According to the Financial Times, one of the former sponsors of Pitch@Palace stated that “[Our relationship with Pitch@Palace] went before our risk committee [earlier this year] and it was unanimous it was not something we wanted to be associated with – it was just cut and dry.”
Other former backers who have decided to cut ties with the charity include accountancy firm KPMH, and Standard Chartered, both of which will not be renewing their sponsorships with Pitch@Palace. Standard Chartered has commented the following in reference to stopping their sponsorship with the charity:
“We can confirm we are not renewing our sponsorship of Pitch@Palace for commercial reasons, once our current agreement terminates in December.”
KPMG’s sponsorship with the charity ended in October. A page that listed the charity’s corporate partners has also been taken down earlier this week.
It has been claimed that another “prominent backer” has been pushing for Prince Andrew to cut his associations with the charity. This push for the Duke of York to leave Pitch@Palace follows his interview with the BBC, where Prince Andrew addressed the allegations surrounding his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, and having sex with a teenage girl.
Prince Andrew has denied these allegations, however sponsors have shown concern over his association with the Pitch@Palace Scheme, with Barclays Bank commenting that they are “very concerned about the potential effect” this association may have.