The Duke of York marked his 60th birthday on Wednesday, and members of his family wished him many happy returns on social media. Prince Andrew's youngest daughter, Princess Eugenie, was one of the first to like Sarah Ferguson's message to him, which simply read: "Happy 60th birthday to Andrew," and was accompanied by a black-and-white photo of the royal sitting in his living room at home in Windsor. The Queen also publicly wished her son a happy birthday. A post shared on The Royal Family Instagram account showed two images, one of Andrew as a baby and a second more recent photo. The accompanying text read: "On this day in 1960, Prince Andrew was born at Buckingham Palace, the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years. Happy Birthday to The Duke of York."
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Princess Eugenie and Prince Andrew at Royal Ascot in 2019
Andrew is celebrating his landmark birthday in private, and no doubt will be spending it with his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, as well as Sarah – who he has remained on good terms with since his divorce. The royal has only been seen out in public once this year, attending church with his mother in Sandringham at the start of the year. The pair were pictured together before going to the Sunday service.
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Andrew is thought to be spending his birthday with his daughters and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson
The Duke recently turned down a military promotion after stepping back from public duties in November. Andrew was due to be promoted to Admiral on his birthday, 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."
READ: The one major difference in Prince Andrew's birthday message from the Queen this year
Andrew stepped down from royal duties 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."
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."
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