Prince Andrew has asked to defer a traditional honorary military promotion to the rank of admiral, which he was due to receive on his 60th birthday.
Buckingham Palace said Prince Andrew has asked for the honorary Navy promotion to be deferred until a time when he returns to public duty – though did not specify when this might be.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “By convention, The Duke of York would be in line for military promotion on his 60th birthday. 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.”
Andrew stepped down from royal public life in November in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and after the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight appearance.
The interview, dubbed a “car crash” by critics, saw him accused of lacking empathy for Epstein’s victims and of failing to show regret over his friendship with the disgraced financier.
A woman who claims she was trafficked by Epstein alleges the duke slept with her on three separate occasions. Andrew, who strenuously denies the allegations, is facing calls to talk to the FBI and US prosecutors.
The prince retired from the Navy in 2001 but members of the royal family traditionally continue to receive military promotions as they get older.
The Queen cancelled her son’s formal birthday celebrations soon after the scandal.
It has been a bad week for the scandal-hit prince. On Wednesday, lawyers for the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and for the family of teenage hit-and-run victim Harry Dunn held a joint press conference calling for an exchange of sorts in which Andrew would travel to the US to face questioning – and Sacoolas, Dunn’s suspected killer, to be extradited from the States to Britain.
Then on Thursday the government declared councils would no longer have to fly a Union Jack to celebrate the prince’s birthday on February 19 after critics branded the diktat “crass and offensive”.
Last month it emerged the duke is also facing losing his round-the-clock armed police protection after a Scotland Yard review.