Prince Andrew becomes first UK royal on Twitter

      LONDON (AP) - Twitter is now a bit more royal.

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

      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.