Prince Andrew’s private secretary in new role

Prince Andrew’s private secretary in new role
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Amanda Thirsk with Prince Andrew The woman who organised the Duke of York's interview with the BBC is no longer his private secretary after the royal withdrew from public duties.Amanda Thirsk, who has worked for the duke since 2012, will become chief executive of his business mentoring scheme, Pitch@Palace.BBC…

Amanda Thirsk and Prince AndrewImage copyright
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Amanda Thirsk with Prince Andrew

The woman who organised the Duke of York’s interview with the BBC is no longer his private secretary after the royal withdrew from public duties.

Amanda Thirsk, who has worked for the duke since 2012, will become chief executive of his business mentoring scheme, Pitch@Palace.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the decision was part of the «downscaling» of the duke’s office.

Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on those in the duke’s team.

On Wednesday, Prince Andrew explained he had decided to step down from his public role for the «foreseeable future».

It came after a growing backlash to a BBC Newsnight interview about the duke’s friendship with convicted US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

One of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, has claimed she was forced to have sex with the duke three times. Prince Andrew has «categorically» denied having any sexual contact with her.

Newsnight producer Sam McAlister, who has been credited with securing the interview for the BBC, said Ms Thirsk was the person she was «mostly dealing with» during the negotiation process.

She told GQ magazine she was «extremely charming, well-informed, thorough and brilliant».

According to Ms Thirsk’s LinkedIn page, she has been a director of Pitch@Palace since 2014.

BBC News has approached Pitch@Palace for comment about her new role.

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Media captionPrince Andrew: Epstein ‘a constant sore in the family’

It is understood that the prince will continue to support Pitch@Palace, although this work will take place separately from the palace.

On Thursday, he was seen in public for the first time since he announced he would be stepping back from his royal duties amid growing pressure.

Several organisations have cut their ties with him, forcing him to quit as the University of Huddersfield’s chancellor and resign as patron of a network of schools.

Lawyers representing Epstein’s accusers have also urged the prince to speak to US authorities about his former friendship with Epstein.

In his statement announcing that he would be stepping back from royal duties, the prince said he was «willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required».

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