Prince Andrew turns down military promotion as he approaches 60th birthday

The Duke of York stepped back from royal duties last November

The Duke of York has turned down a military promotion after stepping back from public duties last November. Prince Andrew was due to be promoted to Admiral on his 60th birthday on 19 February, in line with a longstanding policy that sees senior royals treated as serving military members.

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."

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Andrew in 1986

Andrew, who left the Royal Navy in 2001 to become a full-time working royal, was promoted to Rear Admiral on his 50th birthday in 2010. Five years later on his 55th birthday, he accepted the rank of Vice Admiral.

The Duke stepped down from royal duties in November, following his TV interview with BBC Newsnight, which focused on his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Duke just days after the high-profile interview. Prince Andrew said: "It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support. Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."

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Andrew accompanied the Queen to church

He added: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."

Andrew was last seen in public on 19 January attending church with the Queen in Sandringham.  

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