Prince Andrew 'defers' military promotion, flags won't fly for his birthday

7 February 2020, 06:12

Prince Andrew served in the navy during the Falklands war
Prince Andrew served in the navy during the Falklands war. Picture: PA

The Duke of York has asked to put off promotion to the rank of Admiral after stepping down from public duties.

Andrew was due to be promoted later this month to mark his 60th birthday but has stopped carrying out public duties.

The promotion would have been automatic as part of a policy that sees senior royals treated as serving military members.

Additionally Downing Street have said a policy that councils should fly flags at royal birthdays is being reconsidered.

Concerns were raised after an email was sent reminding them of Prince Andrew's birthday on the 19th of this month.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the Duke had asked to stall the promotion until he is able to fully resume royal duties.

"By convention, the Duke of York would be in line for military promotion on his 60th birthday," the spokeswoman said.

"Following the decision by His Royal Highness to step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, the Duke of York has asked the Ministry of Defence if this promotion might be deferred until such time that His Royal Highness returns to public duty."

The Duke stepped down from public duties last year over his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein.

A Government spokesman said: "The Department of Culture, Media and Sport will be advising councils that there is no requirement to fly flags on February 19 following the decision by the Duke of York to step back from public duties for the foreseeable future."

The decision will also apply to other government buildings.

However, a spokeswoman for Westminster Abbey said the Duke's birthday will still be marked by the traditional ringing of bells.

"Westminster Abbey is a Royal Peculiar and the bells are rung for the birthdays of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; their children; and TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

"There are no plans to change these arrangements."