This Person Will Decide If Prince Andrew Loses His Armed Security (And It’s Not the Queen or Prince Charles)

The fallout from Prince Andrew‘s disastrous BBC Newsnight interview included several organizations cutting ties with him, the duke having to step down from his royal duties and being forced to vacate his office in Buckingham Palace.

Now, there are reports that he could lose his armed protection officers as well. Here’s the surprising answer of who will actually decide if will get to keep his round-the-clock security detail and what that ultimately means for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as well.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew | Christopher Furlong – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Why Prince Andrew may lose his armed security

We’ve all heard about the “car crash” interview Prince Andrew did about his friendship with the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York spoke to journalist Emily Maitlis about the accusations brought forth by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who said she was forced to have sexual encounters with him when she was a minor. When answering questions the prince did not come off as believable and showed no sympathy for Epstein’s alleged victims, which is mostly what led to all the backlash.

While Andrew has stepped down, he hasn’t lost any of his regal titles and likely won’t as long as his mother is the reigning monarch. He also retains his current eighth spot in the line of succession because that position is far enough away from the crown almost guaranteeing that he will never be king.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

But retaining the level of security some of his other family members currently have, even though he has no royal role at this time, is another story. According to the Evening Standard, the U.K. government ordered a full review of whether Andrew’s armed, 24-hour security protection should be downgraded.

“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 senior source told the publication. “Those in charge of royal security cannot write a blank check 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 decision ultimately rests with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

This could be bad news for Meghan and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Of course, Andrew’s nephew, Prince Harry, and his wife recently announced that they too were “stepping back as senior royals.” They also said that they would like to become “financially independent.” So does that mean they may lose their armed security?

The Evening Standard estimates that the cost to protect royals who are of course high-risk targets is $130 million a year.

The paper also noted that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Her Majesty that his government would pay for the costs of Harry, Meghan, and Archie’s protection.

Royal protection by armed Metropolitan Police officers is mandated by the Home Office. 

Read more: Sarah Ferguson Finally Reveals What She Really Thinks About the Prince Andrew Scandal