When Prince Andrew was just a normal royal with questionable friends, he enjoyed many perks. Like a fancy office in Buckingham Palace, and a 24-7 team of security guards and police officers. But then his friend Jeffrey Epstein died and he was accused of having sex with Virginia Giuffre, an alleged sex trafficking victim of Epstein’s who was underage at the time. That led to Andrew stepping down from his royal duties and closing his royal offices, because why do you need an office when your only job at the moment is to hang out with mummy? And now people have been asking if Andrew should even get police security since he’s not a working royal right now. Scotland Yard has reportedly been asking the same thing.
The Evening Standard says that Scotland Yard did the research, and they’ve come to a conclusion and made recommendations about how much police protection Andrew needs. A source says that round-the-clock protection is only granted to “working” royals, which Andrew is not.
“A review was ordered into the Met’s protection of HRH The Duke of York once it was announced he was stepping down from royal duties in November. Those in charge of royal security cannot write a blank cheque for anyone who does not have a public role for the foreseeable future. Round-the-clock armed protection is very expensive. The Met is obliged to review the position to ensure it is justified.”
The Met, aka the Metropolitan Police Service, will work with the Home Office (which is the arm of the government that deals with immigration, security, and law and order) to determine what happens. The Home Office has allegedly recommended a “major downgrade” for Andrew. The Evening Standard adds that the final decision about Andrew’s police coverage might end up being decided by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Royals are provided security coverage by the government. That’s why Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan might end up getting their security team paid for by Canada’s government while living there.
But Harry and Meghan are still technically working royals, even if they’re not senior royals. And Andrew isn’t a working royal right now. Still, Andrew currently has his full security detail on him at the moment, but that could change pretty quickly now that it has been decided he doesn’t need it. But it doesn’t mean Andrew is going to suddenly be walking around on his own with pepper spray in one hand and his keys poking through his knuckles on the other. Even if the Met decides to pull 100% of his police escorts, an alternate option will be for him to just start paying for private security. Right now, it’s estimated that the Royal Family costs British taxpayers about $130.6 million a year. Andrew reportedly costs about $327,000 a year.
Andrew isn’t poor, so he can probably afford to hire people to stand watch outside his house. But he’s also a major mama’s boy who isn’t used to paying his own way. So I can totally see him begging Queen Elizabeth to loan him a few foot guards or Beefeaters on the down low. After all, he needs to feel safe and secure, and he can’t do that when he’s up all night, worrying about the FBI knocking on his door.