The Home Office is said to be recommending a major downgrade of security for the Duke of York after he withdrew from public duties, it has been claimed.

A final decision is said to rest with the home secretary, Priti Patel, and the prime minister, Boris Johnson, after review by the Metropolitan police.

It could result in Prince Andrew being stripped of his round-the-clock armed police protection, at a time when Buckingham Palace is involved in high-level discussions over security measures for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their future roles in the UK and Canada.

The Evening Standard said the Met had completed a thorough review and quoted a source saying: “Conclusions have been reached and recommendations made.”

The Home Office and Metropolitan Police Service refused to comment on the claims. Buckingham Palace policy is not to comment on security measures.

Prince Andrew was forced to step down from royal engagements for the foreseeable future following a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview about his relationship with the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“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,” the Evening Standard quoted a source as saying.

“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 source was reported as saying.

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It would mean the prince either having no bodyguards, or having to pay for them himself. As a member of the royal family, and a former serving member of the armed forces, the prince could be seen as a target by terrorist groups.

The cost of protecting the royal family is never made public.



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