HRH Prince Andrew the Duke of York has given his blessing for the Duke of York pub on Rathbone Street to feature his portrait in the pub’s new sign. 

Licensees Alan Monks and Debi Sickelmore wrote to the Prince to ask if a picture of him could be used as part of plans by owners Greene King to refresh the external signage on the popular Fitzrovia pub.

Alan and Debi with sign

The office for the Duke, fifth in line to the throne, wrote back and confirmed the Prince would be “delighted” for them to do so and agreed that the pub could use a recent portrait by Igor Babailov.

Debi commented: “We were so pleased to get the go-ahead from Prince Andrew and feel very proud that our pub is associated so strongly with our royal family. It is something I think Londoners’ will love but will of course be a pull for tourists too.”

Clive Chesser, business unit director for Greene King Pub Partners, owners of the pub, said: “We have firm family roots at Greene King and so it is a real delight that at one of our proper London pubs we are able to display one of Britain’s much-loved Royal family on our sign with pride.”

Prince Andrew’s portrait now features on the swing sign and the large curved wall plaque which can be seen from some distance. The existing Duke of York pictorial sign has been kept by the pub and will be incorporated into the pub’s décor next time the pub is refurbished.

The new portrait by artist Igor Babailov was unveiled late last year and is now part of the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace. Igor Babailov has painted portraits of many world leaders and celebrities.

Alan and Debi have run the popular Duke of York pub for nine years. Debi added: “There will always be a stool available at the bar for the Prince should he ever feel like popping in for a drink.” 

For more information contact the Greene King Press Office on 01284 714565 or email pressoffice@greeneking.co.uk.