Questions have been raised over whether or not the public should continue to pay for Prince Andrew in the wake of Buckingham Palace’s announcement that he is now a “private citizen”. The announcement came alongside the revelation that Andrew would be stripped of his military titles and royal patronages as a result of his impending court case. He will no longer be able to use his HRH title in any official capacity.
As HRH, the prince was entitled to police security, reportedly costing as much as £2million a year.
When pressed on whether or not this would continue to be paid for by the taxpayer on LBC, security minister Damian Hinds said: “I know this is going to come across like me avoiding the question, but it is right to say the police do what is proportionate to protect the people of this country and we don’t publicise exactly what that covers.”
However, former Home Office minister Norman Baker called for his security detail to be revoked.
He said: “My view is that his security detail should be removed and no further public money paid on it.
“There are many people who face potential challenges who don’t get free 24-hour protection.”
Announcing the change to Andrew’s titles, Buckingham Palace said: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
A royal source said the titles had been returned to the Queen with immediate effect and will be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family.
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The Duke of York has repeatedly and strenuously denied the allegations.
The prince stepped back from royal duties “for the foreseeable future” in November 2019.
The changes to his titles suggest that he will never return to public life.
Speaking about the decision to strip him of his titles, one royal source said the Queen was “saddened”, but added that Andrew had “run out of road”.
They told the Daily Mail: “The hesitation up until now at Buckingham Palace has resulted from their determination not to be seen to pass judgment [on the allegations].
“That is not their role and there are court proceedings to determine that.
“But what has happened this week is that he [Andrew] is now in a world in which his name will never be cleared – whether he wins or loses.
“Having a member of the Royal Family using their title as they go to court to defend themselves against those kinds of allegations is obviously unacceptable.”
They added: “This week’s judgment meant that Andrew simply ran out of road.”