Prince Andrew Still Scheduled For Royal Birthday Bells In 2021
Prince Andrew will still receive a ringing of bells at Westminster Abbey on his birthday in 2021. The selective practice currently honours the birthdays of 12 royal family members, all of whom are working royals, save for retiree Prince Philip and the Cambridge children. Still, the Duke of York's birthday was revealed on the newly-released bell-ringing schedule — despite his ongoing scandal and withdrawal from royal duties.
Prince Andrew has receded from the public eye since his high-profile scandal and disastrous BBC interview in 2019. But the Duke of York will receive a very public honour on his 61st birthday in 2021.
As People magazine reported, Westminster Abbey recently released its September-February bell-ringing schedule. It reveals that the typical honour on Andrew's Feb. 9 birthday will proceed unchanged in 2021. He is one of 12 royals who receive bell-ringing days, and that tradition will go on despite his scandal and lack of royal duties.
Prince Andrew's Epstein scandal doesn't silence Westminster Abbey bells
Prince Andrew stepped away from his royal duties in the aftermath of a harshly-received 2019 BBC interview where he attempted to defend ties to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and allegations of sexual abuse.
According to People, the Westminster Abbey bell-ringing typically honours senior and working British Royal Family members, a number which currently totals 12. Recent retiree Prince Philip is an exception, as are the three Cambridge royal children. Royal occasions such as the Queen and Prince Philip's wedding anniversary are also marked by Westminster Abbey, per the bell-ringing schedule.
Backlash mounted against Prince Andrew's birthday bells in 2020, but the only change to come about was the absence of the Union Jack flag—which usually flies at Westminster Abbey on royal birthdays. That change was made in response to Andrew's withdrawal from royal duties.
Prince Andrew news has slowed in 2020
The controversial prince has tried to keep out of the spotlight since the scandal, but only to moderate success. The arrest of his friend Ghislaine Maxwell brought him increased scrutiny, as have further details of his alleged abuses of child sex trafficking victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
In 2020, Prince Andrew has been photographed by paparazzi while driving on a few occasions, and he stepped out to attend his daughter Princess Beatrice's private royal wedding on July 17. A series of wedding photos were released, but it was reportedly a conscious decision to not publicize any that featured Prince Andrew.