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Beatrice, Eugenie stripped of their 24-hour protection

May 8
Published on 8 May. 2011 1:07 AM IST
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Prince Andrew’s daughters are to be stripped of their 24-hour police protection after a growing row over the �500,000 annual cost.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are the biggest losers of a Scotland Yard review of security for the Royal Family.
The princesses, fifth and sixth in line to the throne, will be given protection only when they attend official events on behalf of the Royal Family.
Prince Andrew had fought ferociously for the protection officers to stay. He argued his daughters should be treated differently from other minor royals because they enjoy HRH status.
But his argument failed because their cousin Zara Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne, has no protection – even though she has a higher public profile.
Andrew’s wish that his daughters follow him into public life has also been thwarted.
The Queen has made it clear that she expects the princesses to pursue their own careers after university, rather than go on the Civil List as working members of the Royal Family.
The decision will please Prince Charles who has been exasperated by the embarrassment caused by his younger brother’s controversial activities as UK trade ambassador. 
Charles has long believed that the Royal Family has to be leaner and more cost effective – even though his own spending (�16million last year) is lavish by comparison to the famously thrifty Queen.
The controversy over the protection officers for Andrew’s daughters has been rumbling for years.
The princesses have not helped their cause by being photographed falling out of expensive London nightclubs in the early hours, often the worse for wear, with protection officers in tow.
The cost of guarding Eugenie, 21, in her first year at Newcastle University has been estimated at �250,000 a year. It includes salaries, accommodation and living and travel expenses of two full-time bodyguards.
Beatrice, 22, studying at the University of London, enjoys the same level of protection.
Prince Andrew insisted his daughters have full-time protection despite private police assessments that they were low-risk targets.
But, with his authority weakened by the scandal over his friendship with the convicted American paedophile Jeff Epstein and his links with dodgy foreign business tycoons, he has been forced to  admit defeat.
The Home Office is determined to prune the estimated �50million security bill for the Royal Family.
Other minor royals such as the Duchess of Gloucester who, unlike princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, performs official engagements, will also have their protection withdrawn when not on official duty.

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