Bermuda Post

Monday, Feb 26, 2024

Andrew's fury after £3m-a-year taxpayer-funded cops to be axed within weeks

Andrew's fury after £3m-a-year taxpayer-funded cops to be axed within weeks

PRINCE Andrew is furious with ministers after being told that his taxpayer-funded police guard is to be axed next month.

The scandal-hit royal, 62 — who was stripped of his official duties in January — still wants the public to foot the bill of up to £3million a year for his gun cops.

The armed guards are estimated to cost up to £3 million to the taxpayer each year

Prince Andrew paid out £7million to sex accuser Virginia Roberts

He is set to formally complain about the decision - even though Brits are being clobbered by the worst cost of living crisis since World War Two.

The Duke of York is escorted by police guards whenever he leaves the grounds of Windsor , Berks.

It is estimated to cost the taxpayer up to £3million every year.

But he is to lose his round-the-clock guards in mid-December after being stripped of his official duties in January in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal.

And the latest decision suggests he has no real hope of returning as a working royal any time soon

A source told the Sun on Sunday: “He is going to write to the Home Office and the Met Police to complain about losing his taxpayer-funded security.”

Andrew’s diva-like demand for continued taxpayer funding is likely to spark a backlash from the public as they struggle with rocketing bills

One senior Labour MP said: “He doesn’t seem to understand that he’s in disgrace and people don’t want to hear from him any more — especially him with his begging bowl.

“I know he has a title, but that doesn’t mean he is entitled to taxpayer-funded protection.

“I know families who don’t know if they will be able to afford their kids’ Christmas presents this year.


Prince Andrew was stripped of his royal titles earlier this year by The Queen

Andrew suffered an astonishing fall from grace following the sex trafficking scandal surrounding his financier pal Epstein.

The Duke was forced to step down from official royal duties in late 2019 after a BBC interview.

Outraged viewers accused him of failing to show any sympathy for victims of paedophile Epstein — who killed himself in prison in 2019 after being convicted of sex offences.

Andrew also paid a reported £7million out-of-court settlement with sex accuser Virginia Roberts after she agreed to drop the case against him.

He vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

It has left him the most unpopular royal, with just eight per cent of Brits saying they like him, according to the latest poll by YouGov.

This year he was stripped of the title His Royal Highness and all his military honours after a showdown meeting with Queen Elizabeth.

Prince Andrew was said to be her favourite son. But in his new book Elizabeth, An Intimate Portrait, Gyles Brandreth says the late monarch had no hesitation in acting following his disastrous Epstein interview.

He has not undertaken any official public duties since and has been occasionally snapped out horse riding.

Andrew has repeatedly tried to plot a return to public life, but has been blocked by King Charles and Prince William who fear his return would plunge the monarchy into crisis.

The King has also vowed to slim down the institution.

Earlier this year, it emerged that Andrew had a collection of stuffed teddy bears on his bed at Buckingham Palace.

Staff had to arrange them meticulously or risk “abuse”, an ex-royal protection officer claimed.

The Duke is the second royal to kick off over the removal of protection officers.

Prince Harry is suing the Government for refusing to splash taxpayers’ cash on bodyguards for him and his family when in the UK.
Prince Andrew’s spokesperson was approached for comment.

The Home Office said: “It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on protective security.”

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