Credit: Sky News

The disgraced Duke of York was due to become an admiral on his 60th birthday but has asked to defer the honour.

The Duke of York stepped back from all royal duties in November last year, following his alleged friendship with the US financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In accordance to policy that means senior royals are treated as serving members of the British military, Prince Andrew was due to be promoted to Admiral, despite retiring from the Navy in 2001.

Officials from Buckingham Palace have said he has asked the Ministry of Defence to defer the move until he returns to public duty.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: “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.”

Despite tradition, the government says there is no requirement to fly the Union flag in celebration for the Duke’s 60th birthday.