Having stepped down from public life, following the fallout from his friendship with disgraced American sex-offender, Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew could now see his 24-hour armed police protection withdrawn.
After the Home Office recommended a major downgrade in security for the Duke of York, Scotland Yard has now completed a review of the arrangements and reached their conclusions about any future arrangements.
It is thought a final decision will be taken by the Home Secretary, in conjunction with the Prime Minister.
The Queen’s second son was forced to reconsider his position after a disastrous interview with the BBC’s Newsnight presenter, Emily Maitlis, in which he attempted to explain his relationship with Epstein. After it was broadcast, the Prince was criticised for not only failing to express any regrets for his relationship with Epstein, but also showing no empathy for the disgraced financier’s victims.
In recent weeks, charities and organisations which have enjoyed his patronage have cut their ties with him.
Epstein took his own life in a Manhattan jail cell in August last year, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Although the cost to the public purse of providing protection to the Royal Family is not known, it is thought to be as much as £100m per year. The Prince now faces the prospect of paying for bodyguards himself, or going without protection.
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Meanwhile, the Duke of York is not the only Royal who may have to reassess his security arrangements.
The Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan, announced at the start of the year that they would step back from their role as “frontline” Royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said that they expected to split their time between the UK and Canada.
This has sparked another row over whether the State should continue to provide protection for the family. The situation is complicated by their stated desire to spend half the year in Canada. Canadian tax campaigners said there should be no blank cheque to cover protection for the Royal couple.