A Royal bodyguard is suing Scotland Yard, claiming he is being forced to work too many hours.
The officer triggered a probe into the Metropolitan Police by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after complaining his shifts were longer than EU rules allow.
Now he has launched an unprecedented case against the Met about his hours and overtime pay.
Sources said that the officer, still working for the Met, is likely to win a substantial out-of-court settlement in order to prevent the sensitive work of the Royal protection squad, SO14, being discussed in open court.
Last night Britain’s biggest force admitted it had not been good enough at checking officers’ hours.
A Met spokesman told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The Metropolitan Police Service acknowledges that the monitoring of officers’ hours was not as robust as it could have been.
'Processes have been improved and the Health and Safety Executive will review our practices in due course.’
The Met’s Protection Command provides security for the Royals, Ministers and visiting dignitaries. SO14 guards the Queen and Royals including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at home and abroad.
Because the elite officers guarding them are required to travel so much, they cannot work normal shifts and receive a hefty overtime allowance.
Official figures show a constable in SO14 earns on average £43,345 a year and £11,202 in overtime allowances. The highest-paid constable guarding Royalty received £82,959 a year.
In 2010, The Mail on Sunday revealed further perks of working with the Royals, with one male officer accompanying Princes William and Harry to the World Cup in South Africa claiming £300 for ‘warm-weather clothing’ including three items of women’s clothing.
Under the Met’s regulations, officers are meant to work an average of 48 hours a week over six months. But they can opt out of the restriction, and the rules acknowledge that the duties of a Close Protection Officer may exempt them from any time limit.
Police documents seen by this newspaper state: ‘On the 8th April 2014 the HSE visited the MPS to investigate a complaint made by an SO14 officer pertaining to an allegation that SO14 had failed to comply with the Working Time Regulation.’
Ken Wharfe, the late Princess Diana’s protection officer, said: ‘This isn’t an eight-hour tour of duty. You cannot compromise security.’
As the case will be settled out of court it will not set a legal precedent, but may open the door for others to launch similar claims.