EXCLUSIVE: Prince Andrew could be stripped of 24-hour armed security and lose his bodyguards as he is not a working royal
- EXCLUSIVE: Prince Andrew could lose his constant police protection next month
- Sources say a review of his security is being carried out by Met and Home Office
- Andrew has so far been allowed to keep his taxpayer-funded police bodyguards
Prince Andrew could lose his round-the-clock police protection as early as next month after he was exiled as a frontline royal.
Sources say a full review of his security is being carried out by the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office following last week’s decision by the Queen to strip her son of his remaining military and charitable affiliations and stop him using his HRH title.
He must now fight claims of rape and sexual assault in the US courts as a private citizen.
Prince Andrew in 2019. He could lose his round-the-clock police protection as early as next month after he was exiled as a frontline royal
Andrew, who remains ninth in line to the throne, has so far been allowed to keep his taxpayer-funded police bodyguards at a cost to the public purse of an estimated £2-3million a year.
This has sparked intense public debate, particularly because his nephew, Prince Harry, was stripped of his police protection when he quit as a working royal in 2020 and moved to the United States.
It is understood that the Royal and VIP Executive Committee is now carrying out a review of whether Andrew’s situation is tenable – particularly in light of the Duke of Sussex’s lawyers seeking a judicial review of the Home Office’s decision.
Harry is demanding he and his family are given protection by specially-trained Scotland Yard officers when he returns to the UK, even if he pays for it himself.
Andrew accompanied by two bodyguards. He has so far been allowed to keep his taxpayer-funded police bodyguards at a cost to the public purse of an estimated £2-3million a year
‘Although no-one will comment on it publicly, this is an issue that is now actively being discussed by the Met’s Royal and VIP Executive Committee,’ a source said.
‘The situation [as regards Harry] is awkward and may prompt a decision sooner rather than later. If Harry, who is no longer a working royal, does not get security in the UK, then why should Andrew?’
Andrew, who lives in 30-room Royal Lodge on the Queen’s Windsor estate, will always benefit from the round-the-clock protection that comes with living in proximity to a royal residence.
Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell pictured together in 2001
But it is the security that accompanies him away from the estate that will be under discussion.
His children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, had their official royal security taken away several years ago following public outrage at their globe-trotting antics, which saw officers regularly follow them on trips abroad.
His ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, who still lives with him, has not officially had any taxpayer-funded security since they divorced in 1996.
Other royals including Princess Anne and Prince Edward have had their security scaled back, while royal grandchildren including Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips have never had it as adults.
Ms Roberts in 2019. Andrew must now fight claims of rape and sexual assault in the US courts as a private citizen
Like Harry, Andrew has suffered from a series of security scares in recent years, including an intruder who actually got into his house.
But there is likely to be little public appetite to afford him any more security than necessary now that he is a private citizen.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on protective security arrangements.
‘To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect individuals’ security.’
Neither the Metropolitan Police nor a representative for Andrew would comment last night.
Dai Davies, a former head of royal security at Scotland Yard, said of Andrew possibly losing his bodyguards: ‘It is a big step, although the likely risk is small, and there would be strong arguments to be made that he does not require ‘PPO’ [personal protection officer] status if he is no longer a working royal.’