Out of Sight, Out of Budget? Prince Andrew Might Lose $4 Mln a Year Security Detail, Media Claims
The Queen stripped the prince of his military titles and royal patronages last week as he continues to face prosecution in the US over accusations of sexual abuse of a minor, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Prince Andrew might lose his taxpayer-paid security detail now that he is no longer considered a working royal, the Daily Mail has reported citing sources. According to them, the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office are currently looking at Prince Andrew's situation and deliberating about whether or not he should enjoy the state-provided protection. The Royal and VIP Executive Committee are also reportedly reviewing the issue.
At the moment, Prince Andrew is followed by state-provided bodyguards that cost between 2 and 3 million pounds ($2.71 to $4 million) to the budget per year. He also enjoys 24-hour protection when he stays at a royal residence, which will not be removed even if the reported discussions lead to him being stripped of the personal security detail.
The discussions were reportedly prompted by the Queen's decision on 13 January to strip Prince Andrew of his military titles and royal patronages. This puts the Duke of York in a status similar to that of Prince Harry, who willingly stepped away from his royal duties and titles along with the UK budget-funded security.
"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?", an anonymous source told the Daily Mail.
The Queen's decision to revoke Prince Andrew's titles comes as the latter unsuccessfully battles prosecution in the US on charges of sexually abusing a then-minor - Virginia Roberts Giuffre. She is one of many women purportedly trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019, and another convicted sex offender, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
22 January, 02:41 GMT
Prince Andrew will now be dealing with the prosecution as a private citizen and not as a member of the British Royal Family. His duties were transferred to other royals after the charges were first filed against him.
The Duke of York himself denies sexually abusing Giuffre, whom he allegedly met when she was just 17 years old. He questions the credibility of her testimony against him, while the prince's lawyers indicate that Giuffre lost her right to pursue the defendant when she signed a settlement with Jeffrey Epstein's legal team in 2009 in connection with another set of sexual misconduct-related accusations. The nature of that settlement remains unclear.