Prince Andrew defers promotion to Admiral amid Epstein accusations
London (dpa) – Britain’s Prince Andrew has asked to defer a military honour that he was due to receive on his 60th birthday, Buckingham Palace said on Friday, amid a media focus on his relationship with the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew has asked to hold off on a promotion to the ceremonial rank of admiral that had been scheduled to coincide with his birthday on February 19, the palace said.
It said Andrew’s request to defer the royal convention followed his decision in November to step back from public duties.
He asked the Ministry of Defence “if this promotion might be deferred until such time that His Royal Highness returns to public duty,” the palace said.
US lawyers for alleged victims of Epstein last week accused Andrew of failing to cooperate with investigators, saying it was a “slap in the face” to the victims.
Andrew was widely criticized for a BBC interview in November to discuss his friendship with Epstein and allegations from one of the victims. He later said he would “step back” from public duties.
One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre – told international media that she was forced to have sex three times with Andrew, including when she was 17.
In his BBC interview, Andrew said he had no memory of meeting Giuffre.
The government has agreed to review a policy that would have required local councils to fly the British flag in honour of Andrew’s birthday, following objections from some councils and media commentators.
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