Prince Andrew becomes first UK royal on Twitter

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 file photo Prince Andrew, The Duke of York and U.K. Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, gestures during a luncheon session in his honor, organized by Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries in New Delhi, India. As Buckingham Palace prepares to celebrate the wedding of Prince William, officials are rushing to contain a flurry of negative publicity from the side of the family that has long been a cause embarrassment. Prince Andrew, the queen's second son, is friends with a convicted sex offender _ pictures have been published of him with his arm around the waist of the teenage prostitute at the center of that case _ and his hosting of the son of the Tunisian dictator, shortly before a popular uprising drove him from power, has led to calls for him to be stripped of his role as special UK trade ambassador.(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

July 8, 2013 9:23:05 AM PDT
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.