Prince Andrew is still receiving round-the-clock police protection being covered by British taxpayers despite stepping back from public duties.
On Thursday, The Telegraph reported that the Duke of York’s entitlement to police bodyguards was subjected to a full review earlier this year before he agreed to a financial settlement with his sex abuse accuser. The Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) concluded that Queen Elizabeth’s son was 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 arrangements.
The extent of Andrew’s day-to-day activities since being stripped of his royal duties are "unknown beyond horse riding and regular visits to the queen." However, it has been estimated that the annual cost of his personal security is between £500,000 and £3 million, or up to nearly $4 million.
The outlet noted that the exact cost "is unknown." As for his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, they had their official royal security removed several years ago. Other non-working royals, such as Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, the children of Princess Anne, never had it as adults.
"RAVEC – which includes senior aides of 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! News. "If they did then surely the sensitivities around Prince Andrew and his security arrangements would have come under immense scrutiny."
"Though stripped of all royal patronages and military affiliations after the shame of his close friendship with a pedophile billionaire and paying out millions to rape accuser Virginia Giuffre, Andrew’s Scotland Yard protection remains an annual and unchallenged cost of around $500,000 to the British taxpayer."
In July of this year, a judge in London ruled that Andrew’s nephew, Prince Harry, can take the British government to court over his security arrangements in the UK. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost publicly funded police protection when they stepped back as senior working royals in 2020 and moved to California. Harry, 37, wants to pay personally for police security when he comes to Britain and is challenging the government’s refusal to permit it.
Harry’s lawyers have said the prince is reluctant to bring the couple’s two children to his homeland because it is not safe. Harry added his private security team in the U.S. does not have adequate jurisdiction aboard or access to UK intelligence information. The British government has said it is not possible to pay privately for police protection.
"RAVEC’s lawyers argue that they were entitled to reach its decision, which currently sees Harry’s security arrangements considered on a case by case basis," wrote Scobie. "However, it seems cruel in the extreme to allow Prince Andrew round-the-clock police protection but not the future King’s son. It comes across as the Establishment punishing Harry, yet again, for breaking away from the Firm and sharing his experiences publicly."
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
In April, the councillors of York voted unanimously to withdraw Andrew’s "freedom of the city" honor, which was awarded to the prince in 1987 after the queen, 96, made him the Duke of York.
Andrew is the first person to be stripped of the status, a purely ceremonial honor that dates back to medieval times when "freemen″ enjoyed special privileges. Honorees include the actress Dame Judi Dench and Princess Anne, Andrew’s sister.
Andrew was stripped of his honorary military roles in January amid the furor surrounding his ties with Jeffrey Epstein and a lawsuit alleging he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The queen also removed his honorary leadership of various charities, known as royal patronages, and barred him from using the title "his royal highness" in official settings.
Andrew later settled the lawsuit and agreed to pay his accuser an undisclosed sum that the British media has suggested could be as much as 12 million pounds ($15 million). He denies the allegations.
York City Councilor Darryl Smalley said the city was just following the example set by the queen in removing Andrew’s titles.
"She saw that it was doing serious reputational damage to those military institutions and charities and so stepped in to remove him from those positions," Smalley told ITV News. "We believe very strongly, and many residents agree with us, that we should be removing all links between our city and Prince Andrew."
Smalley and other local leaders have argued that Andrew should also lose the title of Duke of York.
"York has a fantastic relationship with the monarchy going back hundreds of years. It’s something we cherish," he said. "We can’t cherish it whilst we have Prince Andrew as our most senior royal."
At the time, a spokesperson for Andrew declined to comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.