Prince Andrew was awarded an honorary fellowship in May 2018Tobias Baldauf

Content Note: This article contains mention of child sexual assault and sex trafficking

Prince Andrew resigned his honorary fellowship at Hughes Hall shortly after an open letter criticised his “[failure] to condemn harassment and sexual misconduct”. 

The open letter – signed by over 150 students, alumni, fellows and staff – called for a review of Prince Andrew’s honorary fellowship at Hughes Hall amid his ties to convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The letter expressed concerns that Prince Andrew’s position was in direct conflict with the College’s ethos. 

“Hughes Hall prides itself upon an ‘inclusive culture that promotes equality, values diversity and maintains an environment for study, work and living in which the rights and dignity of all its members are respected’,” said the letter. “However, fundamental to its fulfilment is a zero tolerance policy towards harassment, and sexual misconduct. We, therefore, believe the appointment of Prince Andrew as an Honorary Fellow is in direct conflict with the College’s values and threatens the very culture we all strive to create.”

A Hughes Hall spokesperson previously told Varsity that the Governing Body was set to review Prince Andrew’s position – which he has held since May 2018 –  on Wednesday 27th November. 

However, as of the beginning of this week, Prince Andrew had already resigned.  A statement issued on the College’s website said: “ The President of the College, Anthony Freeling, has informed the membership that HRH the Duke of York has resigned as an Honorary Fellow of Hughes Hall with immediate effect.”

The recent open letter condemning Hughes Hall’s ties to Prince Andrew was launched following a recent BBC interview in which the he repeatedly denied child sexual assault allegations levied against him, and defended his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who died while in prison facing child sex trafficking charges this August. 

During the BBC Newsnight interview, which aired on Saturday 17th November, the Prince repeatedly denied claims that he had assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre on three separate occasions, twice of these occurring when she was under the age of 18. 

The interview received widespread backlash from both the public and the media, and the Prince has since announced that he will be stepping back from royal duties. 

Fallout from the recent interview has included KPMG, Standard Chartered and Barclays all cutting ties with Prince Andrew’s business mentoring initiative Pitch@Palace. 

As well as resigning his honorary fellowship at Hughes Hall, the Prince has also resigned as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield following student lobbying, and is no longer a patron of the Outward Bound Trust, the English National, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Metropolitan University.