Prince Andrew's Epstein Accuser Says 'Big Spoilt Baby Got His Way' as Westminster Abbey Set to Ring Bells for Royal's Birthday

Proposed public displays to celebrate the 60th birthday of Prince Andrew on February 19 have sparked criticism due to ongoing controversy over his ties to a financier charged with sex trafficking.

The Sun reported that councils around the U.K. had been reminded by a top civil servant to fly the British flag on buildings to mark the Duke of York's birthday later this month. But the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said his city would refuse, because "it would not be appropriate ... when you look at his behavior," according to The Liverpool Echo.

A Buckingham Palace source told Newsweek that the royal household had been involved in discussions with the government, which will be "advising councils that there is no requirement to fly flags on the 19th February following the decision by the Duke of York to step back from public duties for the foreseeable future."

Alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by the financier and had sex with the Duke of York when she was 17, criticized Westminster Abbey's decision to ring bells and mark the occasion.

Britain's Prince Andrew
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Bangkok on November 3, 2019. There has been controversy over the decision to ring the bells at Westminster Abbey on his birthday, as he faces criticism over his ties with the late peodophile financier, Jeffrey Epstein. LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/Getty Images

The prince strenuously denies the claims, but has stepped back from frontline royal duties after an interview with the BBC in which he was criticized for lacking empathy for Epstein's victims. Epstein was found dead in prison last August while awaiting charges of trafficking minors.

Giuffre tweeted, "So the big spoilt baby got his way and now the bells will ring for him. The only thing that should be ringing for him is the sound of shackles tied around his ankles on his way to the tower. Far out—I feel like I'm honestly living in some weird version of the twilight zone."

Newsweek contacted Giuffre for further comment.

The 1,000-year-old abbey has huge significance for the British royal family. It is the final resting place for 17 kings and queens and is where the monarch has been crowned since 1066. A spokesperson for Westminster Abbey told Newsweek in a statement that the protocol for ringing the bells would not change.

"Westminster Abbey is a Royal Peculiar and the bells are rung for the birthdays of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; their children; and TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

"There are no plans to change these arrangements," the statement added.

Last month, a U.S. prosecutor said that Andrew had provided "zero co-operation" into the investigation of Epstein's activities, although the prince was reportedly "angry and bewildered" over this claim, with royal sources saying that he had not been approached yet, The Guardian reported.

Apparently reacting to the sensitivity of the controversy surrounding him, Buckingham Palace said the Duke of York would not receive a military promotion.

"By convention, the Duke of York would be in line for military promotion on his 60th birthday.

"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," The Guardian reported.

This story has been updated to include a statement to Newsweek by Buckingham Palace.

Prince Andrew's Epstein Accuser Says 'Big Spoilt Baby Got His Way' as Westminster Abbey Set to Ring Bells for Royal's Birthday | World