Thirsk (pictured) will lose her job, a royal source said
Prince Andrew’s right-hand woman is to be switched to running his tech awards and business funding scheme, a source said last night.
Amanda Thirsk, who was instrumental in persuading the beleaguered royal to agree to his disastrous Newsnight interview, was told yesterday by Andrew that she will no longer be his private secretary.
Instead she will become chief executive of Pitch@Palace, the prince’s Dragons’ Den-style scheme for entrepreneurs, and the Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), which emulates the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Yesterday, Prince Andrew went to Buckingham Palace to fire his top aide on the Queen’s orders, The Sun reports.
Last night, mother-of-three Mrs Thirsk, who has loyally stood by Andrew for 15 years, was still at her desk and declining to comment.
Buckingham Palace also refused to comment on what it said were ‘private staffing matters’.
Prince Andrew (pictured with Thirsk) faced a furious backlash after the Newnight interview his private secretary set up
But a royal source insisted: ‘Amanda has been told in no uncertain terms today that she will lose her job [as Andrew’s private secretary].’
A friend of the Duke told The Sun: ‘It’s been a very grim 24 hours for Andrew. But it got even worse yesterday because he had to break the news to Amanda that the Queen will not continue to fund her role as private secretary.
‘There is a genuine fury because she was the driving force behind the Newsnight interview and the person that arranged for it to be filmed at Buckingham Palace.’
The source revealed that the Queen is expected to order Andrew and his staff to leave their offices at Buckingham Palace – or fork out huge sums to rent them privately.
They said that the Duke is scared to go to the US in case he is arrested by the FBI. It comes after Andrew said that he would co-operate with any law enforcement.
But his friend claims that the royal would want any investigators who want to interview him to come to the UK.
Virginia Giuffre, who alleges that the prince had sex with her when she was 17, has said she welcomes his stepping back from public life.
A former banker, Mrs Thirsk was taken on in 2004 as the prince’s ‘office controller’.
In 2012 she was made his private secretary – and gatekeeper. It has been said of her: ‘She is very, very loyal. It is hard to know where she begins and Andrew ends.’