The process of easing Princess Beatrice out of the bosom of the Royal family is continuing apace, after Prince Andrew was forced to rehire his daughters’ bodyguards out of his own pocket.
The move is both a symbolic and matrial blow for the Duke of York, who will now have to spend an estimated £250,000 a year to provide security for Princess Beatrice, 23. Sister Eugenie, 22, will lose her official guards when she finishes her degree at Newcastle University this year. Andrew’s annual bill could then double to £500,000, according to a report in the UK Mirror.
Andrew will now find himself hoist by his own petard, forced to provide such protection out of his own pocket, having argued vociferously that his daughter’s HRH status makes them particularly subject to terrorist attack in the year of the Olympics.
The move to strip the princesses of their protection officers represents a significant victory for Andrew’s brother, Prince Charles, who believes the monarchy needs to be slimmed down and does not see major roles for Bea and Eugenie if and when he accedes to the throne, believing that the focus should stay on his children, William and Harry.
In recent months Andrew has tried to introduce his daughters into royal life. Last October Eugenie joined him on engagements in the North East and York, and next week Beatrice will join the Queen and Prince Philip at a Maundy Thursday service in York Minster.
Beatrice lobbied to accompany her father on a forthcoming trip to India, when he will be representing the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year, but courtiers vetoed the idea, effectively killing beatrice’s ambition to become a ‘working royal’ stone dead.
Beatrice and Eugenie’s fate was sealed, many believe, by the disgraceful behaviour of ther mother, Sarah Ferguson, who drunkenly attempted to sell access to Prince Andrew to an undercover reporter.