Why Prince Andrew could lose his armed security team

It's safe to say the past few years have been tough for the royal family. Not only did Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announce they're stepping back from their royal duties, creating a migraine for the monarchy, but the queen's second youngest son, Prince Andrew, blew up his life with one disastrous interview. In case you missed it, the November 2019 sit-down was supposed to be an opportunity for the Duke of York to explain his alleged friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Instead of remedying his public image, however, he obliterated it when he came face to face with BBC reporter Emily Maitlis at Buckingham Palace. "It was like watching a man in quicksand and unfortunately, I don't think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out," PR expert Mark Borkowski quipped to The Mirror

After the fallout, Prince Andrew announced his intention to "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future," but the duke's shady side might have cost him more than just his position in the royal family. New reports suggest that Prince Andrew's personal security might be downgraded as well. 

Should Prince Charles' brother sleep with one eye open? We'll assess the situation as we investigate the complex situation involving Prince Andrew and his armed security team.

Protecting a royal costs a pretty penny

After Prince Andrew put his public appearances on hold indefinitely, his need for 24/7 security was supposedly investigated by London's Metropolitan Police. "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," a source told the Evening Standard in January 2020. "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." How expensive? The Evening Standard estimates a cost of about $130 million a year. Wowza.

The Duke of York's security snafu isn't the only headache the queen is dealing with at the moment. The future security for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is reportedly being discussed post-Megxit, especially regarding their time in Canada. "I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, per the Global News. One of Canada's most reputable newspapers, The Globe and Mail, published a scathing editorial arguing that the country shouldn't be used as "a halfway house for anyone looking to get out of Britain while remaining a royal." 

How does Prince Andrew's security affect his daughters?

It's fair to wonder how the Duke of York's security issues might affect his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. The answer? It looks like nothing will change for the ladies because they haven't had round-the-clock armed security since they graduated from college in 2011. The ladies did not become "working royals" after graduating. Instead, Princess Beatrice is "working full-time in business" and Princess Eugenie is a director at the Hauser & Wirth art gallery in London. 

Prince Andrew was reportedly angry about the decision to strip his daughters of security, but it sounds like he had no choice in the matter. "When Charles ascends the throne — which he will do despite all the talk to the contrary — he'd like the Royal Family to be streamlined: he wants a smaller, more cost-effective monarchy," author Robert Jobson told Vanity Fair in 2011. Jobson added, "Andrew has made a tremendous effort to keep Beatrice and Eugenie close to the Queen in order to assure their future as fully paid-up members of the Firm, as the royal family is called. In addition to their status as royal highnesses, Andrew has always wanted them to have around-the-clock security and the rank of working royals. But if Charles has his way, the girls will be thrown off the royal payroll and have to fend for themselves."

Prince Andrew cast a shadow over his daughter's engagement

Prince Andrew's potential security downgrade isn't the only loss he's endured in the wake of his terrible interview. "The Queen has canceled a party she had planned to host for Prince Andrew and his charities to mark his 60th birthday in February and is understood to be intending to hold only a small family dinner," The Sunday Times reported in November 2019. That news was followed by rumors that Princess Beatrice's upcoming wedding would be "scaled-down," per the Daily Express. Speaking of Princess Beatrice's nuptials, the Duke of York reportedly skipped her engagement party in December 2019. "It could have put them in a difficult position. People close to him were also in fear of embarrassment or abuse which would have been just mortifying," a source told The Sun.

Perhaps Prince Andrew and his family's standing in the monarchy will improve with time, but until then, at least the Duke of York can possibly take solace in knowing he's not the only royal with a scandal in his past.