Pubs called The Duke of York should not change names, punters say

Punters have said pubs called The Duke of York should not have to change their name despite the Queen stripping Andrew of his honorary military roles.

Pub-goers argued that while Andrew holds the dukedom, some pubs have held the title longer than the Queen’s second oldest son.

Meanwhile, some landlords of pubs called The Duke of York distanced themselves from the current holder of the title in the wake of allegations of sexual abuse against the royal.

Andrew denies all the allegations that have been made against him.

One gastropub told the PA news agency it will decide next week whether to change its name while one of the country’s biggest pub chains insisted its Duke of York pub had no link to Andrew.

Poppy Bosher, 29, a music promoter, was drinking at The Duke of York pub in Southwark, south London, with her friend Kristen Malecki, 32, on Friday.

Ms Bosher told PA: “I don’t think it’s 100% necessary for pubs to change their names. Pubs have been around for a long time and it’s not Prince Andrew’s name up there.

“I do think if pubs were to change their name it would be a big statement regarding the allegations, but in terms of business, I run a business, and I feel it could be difficult in terms of marketing.

“We didn’t realise the name of it when we came here – it wouldn’t stop me going in a pub because it’s not related to the pub itself.”

Over at The Duke of York pub in Victoria, central London, Lawrence Ockleford, 25, a delivery driver, said he also believed the establishments should not have to change their names.

Duke of York
The Duke of York, in his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards, at a memorial in Bruges in 2019 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“It’s only a title. Obviously what he has been accused of is not good, but you can’t really erase the history,” he said. “I think you shouldn’t glorify him as a person but it’s OK to keep the names.”

His girlfriend, Evie Hinks, 25, a funeral assistant, added: “I can see why they would want to, I think it would be a real shame for them to change their name. More than anything, I think he should lose his title. All these great pubs and venues, it shouldn’t be up to them as it’s not their fault.”

Asked if she would stop going to pubs herself called The Duke of York, she added: “Yeah, I would make a considered decision on whether I would go to pubs called The Duke of York.”

Harsh Pal, 32, a medical student who was also drinking at the pub, said: “I don’t think pubs need to change their names as the pub itself is an institution whereas that’s just a person who is associated with an alleged incident.

“I’ve been to this pub for the last decade now – I don’t think you can associate a place or a location with a person.”

The Duke of York pub in Victoria
The Duke of York pub in Victoria, London (Elspeth Keep/PA)

George Cork, the general manager of The Duke of York pub in Southwark, said he would not be changing the name of his pub.

“There’s no plans to change the name,” he told PA. “The Duke of York has been called The Duke of York for a long time now – it’s about a title and the original Duke of York from the 1300s.

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but he’s not affiliated with us in any way. The pub’s been around for a long time and there are 52 pubs around the UK that probably feel the same way.

“If customers are not coming to my pub because of current allegations, I’m not sure I want them as a guest,” he added.

In Marylebone in west London, the manager of The Duke of York Gastropub said there would be a meeting on Monday next week to discuss a potential name change.

“We won’t decide either way until next week in a meeting amongst the owners,” the manager, who wished to remain anonymous, told PA.

The Duke of York pub in Southwark
The Duke of York pub in Southwark (Elspeth Keep/PA)

“It’s a business change of name with the bank, and on credit card machines, so it’s not just straightforward, but no decision’s been made on that at the moment.”

Greene King, which owns a Duke of York pub in Hanover Square, Westminster, said the pub was not named after the present Duke of York and had held the name since the 19th century.

The Duke of York pub in Fitzrovia in central London bears an image of Andrew and has not removed its connection with the duke.

The pub did not wish to comment on Friday regarding whether it would change its name or branding.