Prince Andrew retains freedom of city of York as council postpones decisive meeting

Prince Andrew visits the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital to open the new Stanmore Building.
Prince Andrew visits the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital to open the new Stanmore Building.

The Duke of York has had the freedom of the city since 1987

Published

A council meeting to decide whether the Duke of York should have the freedom of the city of York removed has been postponed, a spokesman has confirmed.

City of York Council was due to hold an extraordinary meeting on Thursday evening to consider the motion: “The Council resolves that, pursuant to Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, the City of York Council withdraws the Honorary Freeman of the City status from the Duke of York which was conferred upon him in 1987.”

Visitors to York walk along the old City walls towards York Minster.
Visitors to York walk along the old City walls towards York Minster.

Andrew had faced widespread calls for him to give up the Duke of York title in the wake of the settlement of his legal battle with Virginia Giuffre.

The council said the decision had been taken to hold the meeting online “in light of a number of Covid cases among elected members and in order to protect other members as well as staff, members of the public and any press who might attend”.

But the Lord Mayor said this move had caused “disquiet” among councillors so he decided to postpone.

Lord Mayor of York Chris Cullwick said: “While I want to thank council officers who have made very serious efforts to maintain the democratic process following a member request, it has become clear that there is disquiet across the political groupings at the arrangements put in place, which were devised to protect members, staff, and members of the public and press who might attend the meetings.”