Prince Andrew High School changes name to distance itself from Duke

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The Duke of York - Paul Grover for the Telegraph
The Duke of York - Paul Grover for the Telegraph

A secondary school school in Canada named after Prince Andrew will change its title for the new school year, becoming the latest organisation to shun the beleaguered Duke.

Prince Andrew High School, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was named in honour of the Duke in 1960, following his birth, but will undergo a rebranding in order to “continue to build our identity as a positive, supportive and respectful community, with a name to match."

The Duke’s reputation is in tatters after he was accused of sexually assaulting a teenager who claims she was a sex slave for his friend, Jeffrey Epstein.

He strenuously denies the allegations, but they will be tested in a civil case at a New York court in Autumn, unless he reaches a financial settlement with Virginia Roberts Giuffre beforehand.

The Duke in Ontario, Canada, in 1997 - AP PHOTO/Hamilton Spectator-Cathie Coward
The Duke in Ontario, Canada, in 1997 - AP PHOTO/Hamilton Spectator-Cathie Coward

The school’s principal, Craig Campbell wrote in an email that: "The name of a school should be reflective of our school community and uphold our values as a safe and inclusive learning space for all.

"Our hope is to continue to build our identity as a positive, supportive and respectful community, with a name to match."

According to Canadian broadcaster CBC, the school has created a six-person renaming committee composed of students, staff, members of the school advisory council and community.

Watch: Prince William is asked 'Do you support Prince Andrew?' by reporter

In the coming weeks, people will be invited to submit new names for the school which will be evaluated by the committee and put to a student vote. The top three recommendations will be sent to the Halifax Regional Centre for Education for final approval.

"We're ready and excited to take this next step. Please stay tuned for more information in the near future," wrote Campbell.

The decision has been two years in the making.

Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth, N.S. - The Canadian Press/PA Images
Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth, N.S. - The Canadian Press/PA Images

Belinda Oxner, chair of the Prince Andrew school advisory council, told CBC in 2019: "As a mother of three daughters, I find it very difficult to have that name on a building where our children are supposed to feel safe and with the allegations and the associations now with the Prince Andrew name.

Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education added at the time: "I'm sure those who decided to name the school after a newborn did not anticipate the possibility of any future negative impacts in naming their community school after a royal baby."

Last week the Duke was abruptly stripped of his Royal titles and patronages by his mother, the Queen, as Buckingham Palace said he would be defending his case against Ms Roberts Giuffre “as a private citizen.”

On Wednesday, he faced further humiliation as his Twitter profile was deleted and his Instagram made private. His Facebook page is also in the process of being taken down.

Watch: What Is Prince Andrew's History With Jeffrey Epstein?

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