Northern Ireland

Prince Andrew plays Royal Portrush course during visit

Prince Andrew played the Royal Portrush course in the company of the club's head professional Gary McNeill Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Andrew played the Royal Portrush course in the company of the club's head professional Gary McNeill

Prince Andrew has attended an event at Royal Portrush Golf Club during a visit to Northern Ireland.

The Duke of York was welcomed by officials before he toured the course, which was the venue for the Open in July.

He played the course in the company of Gary McNeill, the head professional at Royal Portrush.

Prince Andrew is visiting the golf club in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Andrew with Belfast-based libel lawyer Paul Tweed at Royal Portrush

The duke has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for his friendship with the US financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein, 66, took his own life in prison last month while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Last month, Prince Andrew defended his former friendship with Epstein, saying "at no stage" did he see or suspect any criminal behaviour.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Prince Andrew during his round at Royal Portrush golf course

Monday's visit to Royal Portush was Prince Andrew's third public appearance in as many days following visits to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday and the Belgian city of Bruges on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of its liberation by Allied forces during World War Two.

The event runs at Royal Portrush until 12 September.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said Prince Andrew would "undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries".

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