Despite a not-so-warm welcome, the first member of Britain’s royal family to open a personal Twitter account, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has amassed nearly 30,000 followers after only two days on the microblogging site.
Within hours of opening the account on 8 July, @TheDukeOfYork attracted more than 10,000 followers, as well as several negative comments.
One person tweeted, “yo how’s Jeffrey Epstein?” Billionaire Epstein, who has been friendly with the duke, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Another tweet asked, “Has your account been hacked by Ali G?”, referring to the comedic character by Sacha Baron-Cohen, while another enquired, “Don’t suppose you could pass a message to the powers that be about having an elected head of state?”
Still, the duke did receive welcoming messages from the social network.
When asked about the derogatory tweets the duke had received, a spokesman for Prince Andrew said, “The duke is a champion of free speech. For him, it’s about telling people what he’s doing.”
Tweets on Prince Andrew’s account that come directly from him will be signed ‘AY’, while other tweets will be posted by his office.
Prince Andrew’s first tweet
Prince Andrew image via Shutterstock