PRINCE Andrew’s public engagements in Northern Ireland have been cancelled by hosts over his friendship with paedo billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Event organisers have withdrawn their invitations to the embattled prince in the wake of the Epstein scandal, it’s been reported.
A ceremony at Portrush railway station to mark its £5million was among a string of events to be scrapped next week.
Cancellations at the station and other undisclosed venues were made by by the venue chiefs, not the Royal Family.
One organiser reportedly expressed concerns his presence would “change the narrative” surrounding their event, Sky News reports.
However, under-fire Andrew is still due to attend a youth golf tournament at Royal Portrush Golf Club on the Antrim coast.
The prince is a patron of the club and in July attended the 148th Open Golf Championship which returned to Portrush after 68 years.
He was pictured at Dartmouth Royal Regatta last week in what was his first public appearance since his paedo pal’s apparent suicide on August 10.
The under-fire prince has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and insisted he knew nothing of the American billionaire’s sordid activities.
In a previous statement he has said: “At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.
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“I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.”
But some have questioned his judgement for continuing to associate with Epstein – with the pair pictured together in 2010, after he admitted paying for sex with kids.
It is understood that the committee was warned that the Prince’s visit would be inappropriate in light of the recent negative media attention.
But the invitation to attend the golf tournament will not be withdrawn given he is both a a patron and member of the club.
The competition is for boys and girls under the age of 18 and set to take place between September 9 and September 12.
Up to 60 junior golfers are thought to be taking part in the international competition founded by the Prince himself in 2001.
A spokesperson from Buckingham Palace said: “The Duke of York has a full programme in Northern Ireland as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.
“HRH will undertake a number of engagements related to the Tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.
“The Duke will meet volunteers, supporters and representatives from local businesses, host the Tournament dinner, attend the Tournament and present prize.”
A Buckingham Palace spokeswomen said that his next public engagement will take place on Saturday, to mark the 75th anniversary of Bruges’ liberation.