Prince Andrew could be stripped of his round-the-clock armed police protection because of the blowback from his Jeffrey Epstein scandal, it was revealed Thursday.
The UK’s Home Office ordered a major review of the Duke of York’s security after he was booted from royal duties following his disastrous attempts to justify his close friendship with the notorious pedophile, sources told the Evening Standard.
The government department recommended a major downgrading of his protection, with a final decision ultimately resting on Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the sources said.
“Those in charge of royal security cannot write a blank check for anyone who does not have a public role for the foreseeable future,” a senior source told the paper. “Round-the-clock armed protection is very expensive. The Met is obliged to review the position to ensure it is justified.”
Meghan Markle and Prince HarryGetty Images
Royal protection by armed officers from London’s Metropolitan Police is currently mandated by the Home Office, with royals notoriously high-risk targets, the Standard said.
Andrew, the 59-year-old disgraced royal, now faces the prospect of being unprotected, or having to pay huge amounts for private security, the report said.
The cost of protecting the royal family is not made public but is estimated to be at least $130 million a year, the paper said.
A Home Office spokesman told the Standard, “We do not comment on individual security arrangements.”