The Duke of York used the pseudonym "Andrew Inverness" to set up a secret business with a sports retail tycoon, it has emerged.

The Duke reportedly used the name as he launched Naples Gold Limited with Johan Eliasch, the Swedish billionaire who is CEO of global sports equipment company Head, in November 2002.

The two friends, who are both "active" directors in the company, first met in the 1990s when Eliasch, 57, was organising a charity tennis match between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe to take place at Buckingham Palace.

Andrew Inverness is a "professional consultant" to the firm, registered in London, and has the same birthdate as The Duke - February 19, 1960 - according to Companies House.

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The pseudonym appears to have been adopted from his subsidiary title, the Earl of Inverness, which was given to The Duke in 1986 along with the title of Baron Killyleagh.

It was chosen "in order to avoid media attention" until the company was "up and running", according to a source "with knowledge" of its formation, the Daily Mail reports.

The paper claims that the firm has filed paperwork since its inception, including a recent set of accounts - which show no trading activity - to Companies House earlier this week.

But the firm does not appear to have ever generated income or spent money, with its official status listed as "dormant". Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the claims.

The Duke has never publicly spoken about Naples Gold Ltd, meaning there has been no official scrutiny of its conduct.

He has faced previous accusations of using the same pseudonym to become involved with other companies in the past.

It was revealed earlier this month by the Mail On Sunday that Andrew Inverness had a 40 per cent holding in Inverness Asset Management (IAM), a company set up with David Rowland, a wealthy British property developer.

The company's "contacts", which reportedly included royal families and heads of state, were allegedly targeted as potential investors for another investment fund, to be based in the Cayman Islands.

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IAM remained active until March this year, with a liquidator spokesperson saying they understood that the listed "Andrew Inverness" was the Queen's second son.

The revelations come as The Duke faces a number of allegations involving his business dealings, including a claim that he passed a confidential government document to a close friend and business associate.

He announced that he would withdraw from public duties "for the foreseeable future" on November 20, following the fallout from a disastrous Newsnight interview about his former friendship with disgraced financier Jeffery Epstein.