Protection file

Prince Andrew still entitled to taxpayer-funded police protection, exact cost ‘unknown’: report

Prince Andrew still enjoys 24-hour police protection covered by British taxpayers despite stepping back from public duties.

On Thursday, The Telegraph reported that the Duke of York’s right to police bodyguards had been given full scrutiny earlier this year before he agreed to a financial settlement with his accuser. sexual abuse. The Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) has concluded that Queen Elizabeth’s son is still entitled to police bodyguards.

According to the outlet, the 62-year-old is entitled to a personal protection officer whenever he leaves his home, and his property in Windsor has permanent security features.

The extent of Andrew’s daily activities since being stripped of royal duties is “unknown beyond horse riding and regular visits to the Queen”. However, the annual cost of his personal security has been estimated to be between £500,000 and £3 million, or up to almost $4 million.

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In 2019, Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties following a disastrous TV interview surrounding his ties to Jeffrey Epstein. (AP Photo/Sang Tan/AP Images)

The outlet noted that the exact cost “is unknown.” As for his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, they had their official royal security stripped several years ago. Other non-working royals, such as Princess Anne’s children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, never had it as adults.

“RAVEC – which includes senior aides to the royal household and former government officials – does not appear to have a publicly visible and defined set of guidelines for this issue,” royal author Omid Scobie wrote in his op-ed for Yahoo! New. “Had they done so, the sensitivities around Prince Andrew and his security arrangements would certainly have come under intense scrutiny.”

“Although stripped of all royal patronage and military affiliations after his close friendship with a pedophile billionaire was shamed and millions were paid to rape accuser Virginia Giuffre, protecting Andrew’s Scotland Yard remains an annual cost and undisputed amount of around $500,000 to the UK taxpayer.”

In July this year, a judge in London ruled Andrew’s nephew Prince Harry could sue the UK government over its security arrangements in the UK. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost state-funded police protection when they stepped down as senior royals in 2020 and moved to California. Harry, 37, wants to personally pay for police security when he comes to Britain and is challenging the government’s refusal to allow it.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle lost the protection of Britain’s state-funded police when they stepped down as senior royals and moved to North America in 2020. The prince wants to personally pay for police security when he comes to Britain, and (Getty Images/Getty Images)

Harry’s lawyers said the prince was reluctant to bring the couple’s two children to his homeland as it was unsafe. Harry added that his private security team in the United States did not have adequate jurisdiction on board or access to British intelligence information. The UK government said it was not possible to pay privately for police protection.

“RAVEC’s lawyers say they were entitled to reach his decision, which currently sees Harry’s security arrangements reviewed on a case-by-case basis,” Scobie wrote. “However, it seems cruel in the extreme to allow Prince Andrew 24-hour protection from the police, but not the future king’s son. It comes across as the establishment punishing Harry, yet again, for having broke with the company and shared his experiences publicly.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

In April, York councilors voted unanimously to withdraw Andrew’s ‘freedom of the city’ honour, which was bestowed on the prince in 1987 after the 96-year-old Queen named him Duke of York.

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Queen Elizabeth Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew is the son of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Andrew is the first person to be stripped of this status, a purely ceremonial honor that dates back to medieval times when “free men” enjoyed special privileges. Among the winners are actress Dame Judi Dench and Princess Anne, Andrew’s sister.

Andrew was stripped of his honorary military post in January amid furor surrounding his links to Jeffrey Epstein and a lawsuit alleging he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The Queen also withdrew her honorary leadership of various charities, known as royal patronages, and prohibited her from using the title “Her Royal Highness” in official settings.

Andrew then settled the lawsuit and agreed to pay his accuser an undisclosed sum which UK media said could be as high as 12 million pounds ($15 million). He denies the allegations.

York Councilor Darryl Smalley said the city was simply following the example set by the Queen in stripping Andrew’s titles.

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Prince Andrew Virginie Giuffre

A photo from 2001 that appeared in court records released last week shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre. (Court records/Fox News)

“She saw that it seriously damaged the reputation of these military institutions and charities and therefore intervened to remove him from these positions,” Smalley told ITV News. “We believe very strongly, and many locals agree with us, that we should remove all ties between our town and Prince Andrew.”

Smalley and other local leaders argued that Andrew should also lose the Duke of York title.

“York has a fantastic relationship with the monarchy that goes back hundreds of years. It’s something we cherish,” he said. “We can’t cherish him when we have Prince Andrew as our oldest royal.”

At the time, a spokesperson for Andrew declined to comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.