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Prince Andrew becomes first UK royal on Twitter

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, July 8, 2013 - 12:10 pm

LONDON — Twitter is now a bit more royal.

Britain's Prince Andrew has joined the micro-blogging service as @DukeOfYork.

Within hours of opening the account Monday, Andrew had more than 10,000 followers — but also had received several abusive comments.

The son of Queen Elizabeth II has served as a navy helicopter pilot and a British business ambassador, and is following charities, arts organizations and the Hunstanton Golf Club on Twitter.

So far he is was not following his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who tweets as @SarahTheDuchess.

The British monarchy has two official Twitter accounts, but Andrew is the first family member to tweet in a personal capacity, signing messages he has written AY.

Asked about abusive tweets Andrew had received, a palace spokesman said the duke is a champion of free speech.