Prince Harry and Prince Andrew have both stepped down from their royal duties. However, while their status as a member of the firm is similar — both are non-working — they don't receive the same protection. The Duke of York is reportedly keeping the tax-funding police protection, which the Duke of Sussex lost when he and his wife, Meghan Markle, decided to be non-working royals.
Prince Harry Vs. Prince Andrew Security After They Stepped Back From Their Royal Duties
The U.K.'s Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) determined that Prince Andrew is still entitled to the tax-funded police protection even after he stepped back from his royal duties, The Telegraph reported. The outlet claims that the estimated cost of his protection is between $600,000 to $3.6 million per year.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry offered to pay for police protection after losing the privilege following his decision to quit his royal duties in 2020. The Duke of Sussex decided that his family wasn't safe in his home country after they moved to California.
He wanted to ensure their safety and was willing to pay to get the same security that his uncle still got to enjoy. However, RAVEC refused.
The Duke of York was stripped of his patronage and military affiliation earlier this year amid his sexual assault case against Virginia Giuffre. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie's dad settled the case for an undisclosed amount in February.
Royal Experts Think Giving Security Protection To Prince Andrew But Not Prince Harry Is Unfair
Christina Garibaldi, correspondent and a co-host of Us Weekly's Royally Us podcast wasn't impressed with the RAVEC's decision. For her, it was not fair.
"But it is kind of a double standard in some way because why should he [Prince Andrew] receive this protection and Harry not?"
Her co-host Chriss Ross echoed the same sentiment. According to her, if the report was true, then it was "strange" and "weird."
"It's just a very strange decision for this committee to make if they have indeed made this decision," Ross continued. "I mean, it just raises more questions, and with Andrew keeping his ties to the royal family, you just want to say, 'Why, why, why?'"
Omid Scobie, co-author of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's unauthorized biography Finding Freedom, touched on the same issue in an article on Yahoo! News. Markle's husband filed a second lawsuit earlier this month after the Home Office refused his offer to pay for the police protection privately while his disgraced uncle enjoyed the same security even if he was no longer serving the firm.
"RAVEC’s lawyers argue that they were entitled to reach its decision, which currently sees Harry’s security arrangements considered on a case by case basis," Scobie wrote. "However, it seems cruel in the extreme to allow Prince Andrew round-the-clock police protection but not the future King’s son."
Earlier this year, Prince Harry asked for a judicial review of his security concern after the Home Office rejected his offer to pay for police protection twice. In July, Judge Jonathan Swift granted him "permission to apply for judicial review" over the RAVEC decision. So, his lawsuit will proceed to a full hearing at the High Court in London.
Russell Myers, royal editor at the Daily Mirror, talked about the security concerns of Prince Harry following the reports of Prince Andrew still keeping the same protection. According to him, Prince Andrew still receiving publicly funded protection after stepping back from royal duties in complete disgrace will impact Prince Harry's security battle.
"Two major court cases against the British government, the Home Office," Myers said on Today Extra. He believed that Prince Harry "will be using that as a big argument" in court.
Stay tuned for more news and updates about Prince Harry and other royal family members.