The Duke of York could be stripped of his round-the-clock armed bodyguards in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, it has been claimed.
Prince Andrew, 59, faces losing his Metropolitan police protection following a proposed downgrade of his security.
It comes after the Home Office and Scotland Yard carried out a review after the royal announced on November 20 that he was to “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future” with the Queen’s permission.
A final decision is in the hands of Home Secretary Priti Patel and, ultimately, the Prime Minister.
It comes as the 93-year-old monarch and senior royals continue to grapple with the implications of the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ decision to step away from frontline duties.
A senior source told the Evening Standard: “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.
“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. The Met is obliged to review the position to ensure it is justified.”
The father of two was effectively forced to quit royal duties following his disastrous BBC interview over his links to the late convicted sex offender Epstein.
He now faces the prospect of having no bodyguards or having to pay significant sums for them himself. When his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie lost their publicly-funded protection officers in 2011, the Duke shelled out for private bodyguards.
It is understood he currently has protection in place while discussions with Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Ms Patel continue.
Last week the Duke’s longstanding private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, ended her 15-year employment in the royal household after reaching a legal settlement.She will continue as CEO of theDuke’s Pitch@Palace initiative backing entrepreneurs.
Royal protection by armed Metropolitan Police officers is mandated by the Home Office.
Buckingham Palace never comments on security matters.