Princess Eugenie’s gap year was paid by taxpayers, but not everyone was happy about it.
In a 2009 report by Daily Mail, Princess Eugenie’s gap year trip to India, America, Thailand and South Africa reportedly cost over $126,000 just for security. Many criticized it because Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice were low-risk targets. Thus, there was no need to spend that much for their security protection.
According to Rebecca English and Christopher Wilson, Princess Eugenie paid for her own travel and booked economy airfares. She also bunked down with friends in $18 beachfront hostels. However, her security officers traveled business class and stayed in expensive hotels.
Experts calculated the cost of paying two officers at the rank of inspector or sergeant for $188 a day. Their expenses and accommodation for a six-week trip could reach up to $63,000.
Also, each officer had to be relieved after two weeks. There was a regular change in the staff while Princess Eugenie continued her gap year trip.
“But that will leave Eugenie’s estimated gap-year security bill at more than £100,000 – on top of the £250,000 it already costs to provide Prince Andrew’s youngest daughter with security on a daily basis,” the report said.
Retired chief superintendent Dai Davies wasn’t impressed with the report. He said that the spending that much on Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s security could not be justified.
“At a time when the Home Secretary is telling us that the risk to the nation’s security is severe and we are sending people to Iraq and Afghanistan without proper weapons and equipment, the cost of providing these two princesses with bodyguards as they swan around the world is impossible to justify,” he said.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie don’t receive money from the privy purse because unlike Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, they are not full-time working royals. Prince Andrew reportedly wanted them to receive money from the taxpayers but the Queen denied his request to make them a full-time working royal.
At present, Princess Eugenie has a full-time job. She holds a director position at Hauser & Wirth, a contemporary art gallery in Mayfair, London.