The Duke of York’s flagship business enterprise is hanging by a thread after his close friend, a Swedish billionaire, quit and the company’s offices shut down. Sports tycoon Johan Eliasch has stepped down from Pitch@Palace Global, after some 15 staff resigned in a year, leaving only an accountant to oversee what is left of the company in an administrative role. A spokesperson insisted that the company “remains in a pause position while its future direction and strategy is determined” rather than being shut down for good. However, there are no plans to relaunch the Dragons Den-style initiative in the foreseeable future, “in fact the opposite,” a source told The Telegraph, as it emerged that even its ownership was under review. Any decision to wind up the project, one of the Duke’s sole remaining business interests, would come as a blow to the beleaguered royal. The initiative, which brokered deals between tech start-ups and wealthy investors, was thrown into disarray by his disastrous Newsnight interview in November 2019, after which its charitable arm was wound up as corporate sponsors withdrew support. The global arm, a private limited company, continued however, albeit with all references to the Duke quietly removed from its home page. What remained of the brand was moved out of its Buckingham Palace base to a nearby office space in London. However, even that has now been abandoned and the office address of its accountant, a tax specialist, is now the only one on file.