Businesses in the UK will face years of uncertainty and upheaval following the country's decision to leave the European Union, the Duke of York has said. However, he said companies should look at the positive side and make the most of new opportunities.

In an interview with the BBC, Prince Andrew said the UK "should be engaging with as many different markets as we possibly can", becoming the first senior member of the Royal Family to address such a contentious political issue as Brexit.

The duke said he was "as much in the dark as anyone else" about Brexit.

"You can either look at it as a glass half-empty - which is: 'Oh my God, why have we done this?' Or you could look at it as a glass half-full, which is: 'Ok, that's where we are. There are opportunities that we've got to make.'

"So... you may lose one thing but you may gain something else. The world is your oyster," said the prince, who was Britain's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment until 2011.

The duke added the UK should also focus more on business opportunities with countries including China and the US.

"In my experience recently, businesses that look over the garden fence have gone: 'Hmm, [the] grass is not quite as dark and unforgiving as you might expect'. And actually, getting over the fence, there might be some fresh grass out there."

The prince made the remarks as negotiations to leave the EU are set to start on 19 June.

Following the UK general election, which ended in a hung parliament after the Conservative Party failed to win an overall majority, businesses asked for a delay in the start of Brexit talks.

There have been calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to resign, even as she holds talks with the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) to form a new government.

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File Photo of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, as he attends the opening of the Francis Crick Institute on November 9, 2016 Tristan Fewings/Getty Images