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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday message to her son Prince Andrew has been criticised on Twitter by fans who feel as though the monarchy’s account is switching the focus away from the controversial Royal.
Prince Andrew turned 61 on February 19 and the Royal Family Twitter account shared a tweet marking the birth of her son.
The account usually marks the birthday of senior royals with a sweet message, but several experts said the honour may not be bestowed upon Andrew in 2021 due to his controversial former friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew says he never saw anything to suspect the criminal history of Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting sex trafficking charges.
But the Palace shared a throwback picture of Her Majesty and Prince Andrew, alongside the Tweet: "#OnThisDay in 1960 The Queen was safely delivered of a son, the first child born to a reigning Monarch since 1857."
A separate tweet said: "Her Majesty is pictured holding Prince Andrew in 1961 on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, alongside The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and The Queen Mother."
Neither picture showed Prince Andrew in recent years, and social media users were quick to pick up on the omission.
One user said: "Wow, this caption.. Wrong move! No need for this."
Another said: "You must not wish him a happy birthday on social media! Please delete!"
A third added: "Do we really need to be reminded about Prince Andrew? He is no longer a working royal so let him stay out of sight and mind."
In other tweets, several users claimed the decision to announce Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's final departure from the Royal Family was to deflect the attention of Andrew's birthday.
Prince Andrew was suspended from his public duties for the “foreseeable future” on 20 November 2019, following a negative reaction to his BBC Newsnight interview.
In the interview, the Queen’s third child discussed his relationship to disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and addressed allegations of sexual abuse against him, all of which he denied.
Pilot who 'flew Prince Andrew on Epstein's jet with sex slave' tracked down and pictured
One said: "Ah, so that's why the statement about Harry and Meghan [sic] was released today."
Following a year-long residence in North America, it was announced on Andrew's birthday Meghan and Harry would not retain their titles, but are still a "loved" member of the Royal Family.
- Prince Andrew
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