Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has declined a promotion to the Navy rank of Admiral for the time being amid the fallout from his connection to sex offender Jeffrey Esptein to spare the Queen any embarrassment
Prince Andrew has agreed to turn down a senior Navy role following the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
He has declined promotion to the rank of Admiral for the sake of the Queen.
Her Majesty was due to promote her second son ahead of his 60th birthday later this month.
But Andrew will turn down the honour in an effort to protect his mother from the fallout over the Epstein sex trafficking scandal.
The move would have been in line with a long-standing policy under which senior royals are treated as if they had stayed in the Armed Forces and are promoted to higher ranks as a result.
But the Duke of York, who turns 60 on February 19, has agreed to fall on his ceremonial sword and declined to accept – at least for now – the promotion.
It would have followed advancements to Rear Admiral on his 50th birthday and Vice Admiral when he was 55.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman 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.”
Last month, the Duke was pictured with the Queen for the first time since his disastrous Newsnight interview about his association with Epstein, when he joined her at church at Sandringham.
Andrew, who left the Navy in 2001 to become a full-time working royal, is by no means the only member of the family to be promoted as if he were still in the forces.
His elder brother Prince Charles was made an Admiral at the age of 58 and his sister Princess Anne received the same honour at 62.
But Palace and defence officials suggested the promotion, which has to be approved by the Queen, could yet be resurrected in future.
This may happen if he clears his name after an FBI investigation into his friendship with the late convicted sex offender Epstein.
The latest humiliation for Andrew follows the cancellation of a planned birthday reception for all his patronages after he was forced to stand down from representing them.
And it comes amid frustration from US authorities, who have allegedly tried in vain to arrange an interview.
Officials in Whitehall were forced to announce a review of the policy under which Government buildings are required to fly the flag on royal birthdays, and town halls advised that they can do so if they want on such designated days.
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.”