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Senior Royals Stripped Birthday Honors of Union Flags to Spare Andrew from Embarrassment

According to a report in The Daily Mail, the UK Government has decided that only the Queen and the Prince of Wales will be honored by the Union Flags on their birthdays.

Traditionally, the British establishment honors the Sovereign and her direct family members (the Duke of Edinburgh, all their four children, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) on their birthdays by flying the Union Flags above all government buildings across the United Kingdom.

balcony appearance of the royal family Jubilee Pageant
The Royal Family Jubilee Pageant. Credit: The Royal Family

Now, with the passing of Prince Philip, only Her Majesty and Prince Charles will be given such honor, a move many analysts have thought was approved by the Queen, in a bid to spare her favorite son, the Duke of York, from embarrassment as he will be her only child who will not be honored with the Union Flags.

Only Queen and Prince Charles will be honored with Union Flags
The Earl and Countess of Wessex. Credit: The Royal Family

This confirmation from the UK Government comes a day before His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge will mark his 40th birthday.

This mandate stripped other senior members of the royal family of such honor: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the Princess Royal.

Only Queen and Prince Charles will be honored with Union Flags
The Prince of Wales and the Queen.  Credit: The Royal Family

This decision was finalized after members of the councils allegedly refused to obey a rule to fly the flags for the Duke of York's birthday earlier this year (February 19) due to the scandal of his association with the American convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, which thoroughly damaged his reputation.

Union Flag to fly on royal birthdays
Union Flags are traditionally flown in all UK government buildings during royal birthdays

Each year, the UK Government publishes a list of designated days for the Union Flags to fly over government buildings. However, this year, there are major changes.

Designated Days for flying the Union Flags on UK Government Buildings in 2021:

  1. January 9 - Birthday of the Duchess of Cambridge
  2. January 20 - Birthday of the Countess of Wessex
  3. February 6 - Her Majesty's Accession to the throne
  4. February 19 - Birthday of the Duke of York
  5. March 1 - St. David's Day (in Wales)
  6. March 8 - Commonwealth Day
  7. March 10 - Birthday of the Earl of Wessex
  8. March 17 - St, Patrick's Day (in Northern Ireland)
  9. April 21 - Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
  10. April 23 - St. George's Day (in England)
  11. June 2 - Commemoration of the Queen's Coronation Day
  12. June 10 - Birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh
  13. June 12 - Official Birthday of Her Majesty
  14. June 21 - Birthday of the Duke of Cambridge
  15. July 17 - Birthday of the Duchess of Cornwall
  16. August 15 - Birthday of the Princess Royal
  17. November 14 - Remembrance Day
  18. November 14 - Birthday of the Prince of Wales
  19. November 20 - The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's Wedding Day
  20. November 30 - St. Andrew's Day (in Scotland)

    This year (2022), however, they modified the rule:

    1. February 6 -  Her Majesty's Accession to the throne
    2. March 1 - St. David's Day (in Wales)
    3. March 14 - Commonwealth Day
    4. March 17 - St, Patrick's Day (in Northern Ireland)
    5. April 21 - Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
    6. April 23 - St. George's Day (in England)
    7. June 2 - Commemoration of the Queen's Coronation Day
    8. June 2 - Official Birthday of Her Majesty
    9. November 13 - Remembrance Day
    10. November 14 - Birthday of the Prince of Wales
    11. November 30 - St. Andrew's Day (in Scotland)

      Early this year, Prince Andrew was stripped of his royal roles and patronages due to the legal suit he faced in the US on his alleged sexual abuse of Virginia Roberts more than 10 years ago.

      The lawsuit, however, was settled by Andrew's legal team with a large sum of money, and the Duke of York was spared from appearing in the trial. Nonetheless. he was prevented from returning to royal duties.

      The last public event he attended with the royal family was at the memorial service for his father, Prince Philip, at Westminster Abbey, in March this year, where he escorted his mother from Windsor Castle to the church aisle, and back to Windsor.

      He was supposed to attend the Thanksgiving Service on June 3, 2022, at St. Paul's Cathedral, but it was announced he was tested positive for COVID-19.

      On June 13, 2022, during the Garter Day in Windsor, Prince Andrew's name appeared in the Order of the Service but Prince Charles and Prince William insisted, and talked to the Queen, that Andrew should not be in the service. 

      The Queen reportedly relented after Prince William threatened to withdraw from attending the service if his uncle will show up at the event.

      Only Queen and Prince Charles will be honored with Union Flags
      The Queen and her favorite son, the Duke of York

      Prince William is reportedly lobbying his grandmother, the Queen, to prevent his disgraced uncle from returning to public life, insisting that Prince Andrew's plan to resume public duties poses danger to the institution.

      The Duke of York still holds a special spot in his mother's heart despite all the controversies he got involved in. And the 96-year-old monarch, many believed, wanted to give her son another chance. 

      Just like any mother, the Queen feels it is her duty to extend comfort to her son at this difficult moment of his life. But Charles and William are doing everything they could to prevent this thing from happening for the sake of the monarchy.

      Now, family members have to sacrifice for the sake of the Duke of York. No Union Flags on their birthdays. Too bad, it coincides with the Duke of Cambridge's personal milestone. 

      Prince William and Prince Charles Garter Day
      Prince William and his father, Prince Charles during the Garter Day

      There have been a lot of controversies hounding the British monarchy lately: The silent feud of the royal brothers, which is unprecedented in the modern history of the monarchy, the scandalous connection of the Duke of York to a pedophile businessman, and the decision of Harry and Meghan to step back from their senior royal roles. 

      The aging Queen has to deal with all these painful family fallouts bravely by appearing steadfast despite experiencing her own physical discomfort (due to her mobility issues), and the private grief she suffered on the passing of Prince Philip. 

      The Queen jubilee pageant balcony appearance
      The Queen and her three male heirs. Credit: The Royal Family

      Devotion to royal duty has been the trademark of her long reign, and it has been her personal conviction to dedicate her life to the job she's born with. But as she travels through the sunset of her life, the Queen watches the throne slowly eroding in the weight of family conflicts and scandals. 

      These scandals tossed back the monarchy into the tumultuous period of the 1990s when the messy marriages of the Queen's three children threatened the stability of the British throne, prompting Her Majesty's subjects to question themselves if they still need a monarchy.

      Now, the royal court faces similar trials. And the timing is heart-wrenching as it happened during a period when the Queen is approaching the twilight of her reign.

      Tomorrow, Prince William will turn 40. All senior royals celebrated their 40th birthday with a bang. So we're expecting the palace will also throw a fanfare for the second-in-line to the throne.

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