Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, was the first UK royal to join Twitter on Monday, but soon after the account was opened he was bombarded by peculiar gay innuendos.

The Duke opened the account under the username @TheDukeOfYork at 10am on Monday.

However, soon after he had signed up to promote his new handle, he was bombarded by taunts inspired by the nursery rhyme ‘The Grand Old Duke of York.’

Among these taunts, a popular re-tweeted message read: “Were you a little sore after having 10,000 men?”

Another popular message provided a similar joke: “So @The DukeOfYork has joined Twitter. Hopefully he’ll be able to confirm or deny the rumour that he has 10,000 men.”

Others mocked the Prince’s friendships with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, 60, and Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev, 51.

One user wrote: “Apart from hanging out with paedophiles, selling weapons and praising dictators – what is it you do exactly? #atouchysubject.”

When asked about the barrage of homophobic abuse, a Palace spokesman said: “The Duke is a champion of free speech.

“For him it’s about telling people what he’s doing.”

The Prince started out following 47 other accounts on Monday, including the British Monarchy, various charities and two golf clubs. He has not followed @PinkNews yet.

Another popular Twitter user messaged the Prince: “Updating a twitter account takes up a lot of time, how will you managed to fit it in with your ‘busy’ schedule of golf?”