Sunday, January 23, 2022

Pubs named The Duke of York shouldn’t change their name, punters say

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Punters have said pubs named The Duke of York shouldn’t have to change their name, despite the Queen having stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles.

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

Meanwhile, some pub owners called The Duke of York distanced themselves from the current holder of the title following allegations of sexual abuse against the King.

Andrew denies all allegations made against him.

A gastropub told the PA news agency it would 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 connection with Andrew.

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

Ms Bosher told the 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 think if pubs were to change their name that would be a big statement on the allegations but in terms of business I run a company and I think it could be difficult in terms of marketing.

“We didn’t know what it was called when we came here – it wouldn’t stop me from going to a pub because it has nothing to do with the pub itself.”

Over at The Duke of York pub in Victoria, in central London, Lawrence Ockleford, 25, a delivery driver, said he also believes businesses shouldn’t need to change their names.

“It’s just a title. Obviously what he’s accused of isn’t good, but you can’t really erase history,” he said. “I don’t think he should be glorified as a person, but it’s okay to keep the names.”

His friend Evie Hinks, 25, a funeral director, added: “I can see why they would want that, 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 shouldn’t be their fault as it’s not their fault.”

When asked if she would stop going to pubs called The Duke of York herself, she added: “Yes, I would make an informed decision about going to pubs called The Duke of York.”

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

“I’ve been in this pub for ten years now – I don’t think you can associate a place or place with a person.”

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

“There are no plans to change the name,” he told PA. “The Duke of York has long been called The Duke of York – it’s about a title and the original 14th-century Duke of York.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is in no way affiliated with us. The pub has been around for a long time and there are 52 pubs across the UK that are likely to feel the same way.

“If customers aren’t coming to my pub due to current allegations, I’m not sure I’d want them as a guest,” he added.

In Marylebone, west London, the manager of The Duke of York gastropub said there would be a meeting next Monday to discuss a possible name change.

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

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

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

The Duke of York Pub in Fitzrovia, central London, bears a picture of Andrew and has not removed his association with the Duke.

The pub declined to comment Friday on whether it would change its name or branding.

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