The Duke of York has been quietly or publicly removed as patron of almost 50 organisations, The Telegraph can reveal, despite his expressed intention to one day return to public life. The proportion of his charities and organisations, thought to be at least one in four, that opted to sever ties with the Duke following his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, underlines the scale of the damage to his reputation. Many, particularly those working with children, felt it was “no longer appropriate” to continue their associations with him. Others said they were determined to find a representative “better suited” to their aims and values. When the Duke, 61, announced on Nov 20 2019 that he was “stepping back from public duties for the foreseeable future” following the furore over his disastrous Newsnight interview, many of his charities found themselves in a difficult position. Board meetings were called, frantic phone calls made. Several took the decision to end their association with immediate effect. They included the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, the Golf Foundation, the Children’s Foundation, the Outward Bound Trust and the British Science Association. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund said: “We felt that as a children's charity it was not appropriate for him to remain patron.” Other organisations such as Berkshire County Cricket Club, the Society for Nautical Research, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Whitgift School in Croydon, also severed ties.