Security cutbacks hit royals hard
Members of the Royal Family have traditionally enjoyed round-the-clock security. No more. Above Prince Andrew and Edward, right, with Princess Eugenie; Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and Princess Beatrice. (Reuters)
Security is no longer a sure thing for the Royal Family.
Cutbacks to the $80-million security budget have meant Queen Elizabeth’s children and grandchildren will be losing some of the protection they have come to expect, leaving some ill will in the royal household.
The latest victim, reports the Daily Mail, is the Queen’s youngest son, Edward, who is reportedly “very unhappy” about the cuts that will affect the six officers he currently has protecting his family in rotation.
It costs about $1.8 million in UK taxpayer dollars for security for Edward, his wife Sophie and their two children, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor.
“They’re very upset. They trust their staff and depend on them hugely,” a source told the Mail, adding that the family plans to protest the decision.
Round-the-clock security for Prince Andrew’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, has recently been cut back to a level that ensures they will have protection only for official engagements.
Their security costs, which included two full-time bodyguards, were estimated at $805,000. It has been reported that Andrew is fighting hard to keep up security for his daughters, who are fifth and sixth in line for the throne.
On the other hand, Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Phillips, has no security assigned to her on a routine basis.
The belt-tightening by the Home Office has the backing of the Queen, who has been proactive about lessening the ax burden placed on the public by the 22 members of the immediate Royal Family.
Party time with Bieber
Bieber fever has hit the Middleton family, at least in the business sense.
Music’s teen king has scored a few extra royal points by teaming with Pippa and her parents to sell Justin Bieber-inspired party merchandise via Party Pieces, the UK firm founded by Carole and Michael Middleton.
While their daughter Kate has left the business for more pressing regal employment opportunities, Pippa keeps up a part-time role with party planning for the family enterprise.
The latest off-shoot of that, reports the Daily Mirror, is aligning with the 17-year-old heartthrob from Stratford, Ont., to market his party items designed to raise a little Bieber fever at any gathering.
That puts his right next to other Party Pieces theme celebs like Super Mario, Mickey Mouse and Thomas the Tank Engine.
For about $34, there’s the Justin Bieber Ultimate Party Kit for 16 guests that includes plates, cups, balloons and even a Bieber banner.