The Duke of York is a full-time working member of the Royal Family, and is sixth in line to the throne. HRH carries out official engagements in support of Her Majesty The Queen, and works to promote economic growth and skilled job creation in the United Kingdom. In recent years, HRH has focused his activity on three core areas in which he believes he can have the greatest impact:
The Duke of York was born at Buckingham Palace on 19th February, 1960; the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years. He is the second son and third child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. Christened Andrew Albert Christian Edward, he was titled The Prince Andrew until his marriage in 1986, when he was created The Duke of York. Prince Andrew was educated at Heatherdown Preparatory School in Ascot and Gordonstoun School in Morayshire, Scotland, and from an early age wanted to become a helicopter pilot. In 1979, upon completion of A-levels, HRH joined the Royal Navy on a short-service commission as a Seaman Officer, sub-specialising as a Pilot. Midshipman Prince Andrew passed out of Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1980, before undergoing fixed-wing and helicopter flight training at RAF Leeming and Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose respectively. In 1981 HRH was presented with his ‘Wings’ and the award for the best pilot by The Duke of Edinburgh.
Sub Lieutenant Prince Andrew converted to the Sea King helicopter, before joining his first front-line unit: 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) embarked in HMS INVINCIBLE. In April 1982 the unit sailed as part of the Task Group to the South Atlantic to regain the Falkland Islands. During the conflict HRH flew missions including Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), inter-ship Helicopter Delivery (HDS), Search and Rescue (SAR) and casualty evacuation. Upon return to Portsmouth in September 1982, HMS INVINCIBLE was met by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duke’s active service with the Royal Navy spanned twenty-two years during which, as Lt Cder The Duke of York, he was selected to command the Hunt Class Mine Counter Measures Vessel HMS COTTESMORE. HRH returned to flying duties, taking up an appointment as Senior Pilot of 815 NAS at RNAS Portland, where he served until October 1996. In January 1997, he was appointed to the Ministry of Defence as a Staff Officer in the Directorate of Naval Operations. Promoted Commander in 1999, he took up an appointment within the Naval Staff, before departing from active service with the Royal Navy in July 2001.After completing his military career, The Duke was invited to take up a new position as the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. Working with Her Majesty’s Government, and specifically UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the role involved promoting Britain as a destination for inward investment, and creating favourable conditions for UK businesses exporting and investing overseas. HRH undertook this role for almost a decade, until 2011.
Today, The Duke’s work continues to have a strong economic and business focus, as he seeks to recognise the people and organisations striving to ensure that Britain has the workforce, intellectual property and entrepreneurial culture to remain a global economic leader. On education, HRH is committed to supporting a wide range of pathways, including vocational learning, to ensure that young people develop relevant skills to allow them to become economically active. As business becomes more efficient, HRH believes entrepreneurs will be the growth and job creators of the future, and he therefore supports initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship. And conscious that the United Kingdom has always been a great innovator, HRH recognises the importance of innovation in creating new enterprises. Therefore The Duke is a champion of British Science, Technology and Engineering. Additionally, HRH continues to support many charitable and not-for-profit organisations, and maintains close links with the Armed Services.
On 23rd July, 1986, HRH married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey. The Duke and Duchess of York’s first child, Princess Beatrice, was born on 8th August 1988 at The Portland Hospital in London. Their second child, Princess Eugenie, was also born at The Portland Hospital on 23rd March 1990. The Princesses are seventh and eighth in the line of succession respectively. In March 1992, it was announced that The Duke and Duchess of York were to separate. They were divorced in 1996, but have remained devoted parents. The Duke is immensely proud of his family.