British Princesses `to lose bodyguards`

Updated: May 23, 2010, 16:42 PM IST

London: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the daughters of British Queen`s second son Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, could lose their bodyguards within a year-and-a-half, a media report said, quoting insiders.

According to the `Sunday Express`, discussions are underway to cut their protection, said to cost more than 500,000 pounds a year, after claims that they don`t need 24- hour cover.

The pair, who are fifth and sixth in line to the throne, perform few public duties and are arguably less high profile than their cousin Zara Phillips, who has no bodyguards.

Their parents say the princesses need security but they face being overruled by Home Office, which pays the bill.

A source said: "Just because the Tories are now in power it doesn?t mean it?s going to go the Royals` way."

Dai Davies, the former head of Royal Protection, said: "The threat level they face is so low as to be nonexistent."

Last year, Beatrice`s luxury car was stolen in front of her bodyguard while the princess, 21, was shopping.

Eugenie, 20, was mugged on holiday in Cambodia last year but she was not targeted because she was royal.

Protection officers have also complained of being treated like "chauffeurs and gofers" by the younger Windsors as they globetrot on gap years and flit between nightclubs.