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Canadian Canoe Museum, Lakefield College School end relationship with Prince Andrew

An Ontario school says Prince Andrew's honorary role with the institution has ended.
An Ontario school says Prince Andrew's honorary role with the institution has ended. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough and a private high school just north of the city are severing their ties with Prince Andrew days after the royal’s controversial interview regarding his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In an email to Global News Peterborough on Friday, Lakefield College School (LCS) said Prince Andrew’s term as honorary chair of the school’s foundation is now completed. The private high school is in the village of Lakefield, about 17 kilometres north of Peterborough.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew may have ‘valuable information’ on Epstein sex offences, lawyers say

“LCS had already identified a new incoming honorary chair to be announced shortly,” the college said on Friday.

“The school takes this issue very seriously and will act according to its core values in all of its decision-making moving forward.”

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Prince Andrew attended Lakefield College School for six months in 1977 and has maintained longstanding ties to the college, including serving as a trustee for the past decade and, since 2013, as honorary chair of the foundation’s board.

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Prince Andrew also became the royal patron of the Canadian Canoe Museum in 2006 and honorary chair of the national council in 2018. In a press release, the museum said Friday it has “officially concluded” its relationship with the Duke of York.

“In view of recent events and the Duke’s stepping away from his official duties, the museum’s board decided that it was appropriate to terminate the museum’s relationship with him, with our thanks for the support he has provided the museum in years past,” stated Carolyn Hyslop, the museum’s executive director.

Prince Andrew came under a tsunami of scrutiny and backlash following his interview with the BBC. He defended his past relationship with Epstein but stated that it had officially ended in 2010. The Duke of York also categorically denied allegations that he had sex with any women trafficked by Epstein, including 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre (formerly Virginia Roberts).

Epstein died by suicide in August while in jail and facing new charges over the alleged trafficking of dozens of underage girls to powerful men visiting his luxury properties in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

With approval from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, the 59-year-old Duke of York stepped away from public royal duties on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew steps down — The duke’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained

Lakefield College School said it would not comment further on the prince.

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Andrew’s photograph and biography were reportedly removed from the Lakefield College School Foundation website on Thursday.

The National Post also reports that the SickKids Foundation and the Rideau Hall Foundation have both ended their respective ties with Prince Andrew.

Lakefield College School and the canoe museum were still listed on Prince Andrew’s website on Friday under “charities and patronages” in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Prince Andrew retreats from public life amid Epstein saga
Prince Andrew retreats from public life amid Epstein saga