The Duke of York Stakes will be renamed at York Racecourse in an effort to dissociate itself from Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, Prince Andrew, who is facing civil action in the United States for sexual assault.
In 1895, the six-furlong (1,200-meter) sprint was named after another Duke of York, Prince George, Duke of York, who ultimately became King George V.
Officials, on the other hand, seek to make its past more obvious.
Buckingham Palace confirmed last week that Prince Andrew had relinquished his honorary military titles and charity duties, essentially removing him from royal life.
There have also been calls for Andrew to be stripped of his York dukedom, which was bestowed to him by his mother on his wedding day in 1986.
According to James Brennan, the racecourse’s head of marketing and sponsorship, “it (the race) was called in honour of Prince George, who went on to become King George V.”
The 1895 Duke Of York Stakes is the current favourite as a replacement name.
Any changes would have to be approved by the European Pattern Committee, which governs Group races, which are high-profile events.
The Duke of York Stakes is a Group 2 sprint race conducted at the Dante Festival in May.
Andrew was named the racecourse’s first patron in 2015 but resigned in 2019 after stepping down from public obligations in the aftermath of a televised appearance in which he defended his links to US businessman Jeffrey Epstein.
Virginia Giuffre, 38, the 61-year-old prince’s accuser, claims Epstein, who committed suicide in jail while awaiting prosecution for sex trafficking, loaned her out to his affluent associates.
She alleges Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17 years old. Andrew has categorically refuted the accusation.