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Meghan and Harry's security costs won't be paid by Canada as soon as they quit

Taxpayers in Canada will not keep paying for the costs of protecting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle once their split from the royal family is finalised

By Talia Shadwell Reporter
16:56, 27 FEB 2020 Updated 22:52, 27 FEB 2020

Canada is set to stop paying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's security costs within weeks after the pair's step back from royal life led them to move to the country.  Police in Canada today revealed taxpayers had been paying some of the security costs for the Sussexes since they headed to their shores in November following the couple's shock decision to split from UK royalty.  That spending will reportedly stop within weeks as the couple finalise their new life away from the royal family.  The cliff-edge looms as concerns are raised in Britain about who will continue to pay for the high-profile family's ongoing security costs.  The Mirror reported this week that the stretched Metropolitan Police fear they have a 'staffing crisis' on their hands as the Sussex security bill could soar to £20 million a year.  There are fears the bill for officers guarding the pair as they start their new bid to become financially independent by going on money-spinning trips around the globe could stretch Met resources to the hilt.  And a row has broken out over exactly who should foot that bill for the ongoing costs of protecting Harry and Meghan and their baby son, Archie.  Senior officers are understood to be drafting emergency plans to double the ­British protection team guarding the family.  A spokesperson for Canada's Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told local site Global News today that Canadians have been paying some of the security costs for the family since November, but will stop doing so “in the coming weeks.”  The spokesperson told Canadian media: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to re-locate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances.”

“The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has been engaged with officials in the UK from the very beginning regarding security considerations. As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as-needed basis."

“At the request of the Metropolitan Police, the RCMP has been providing assistance to the Met since the arrival of the Duke and Duchess to Canada intermittently since October 2019. The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's 'Megxit' deal

After weeks of discussions, the Queen and other senior royals have agreed on the terms of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quitting the Royal Family.  The couple plan to move to Canada to start a new life with their son Archie, a decision which has reported "upset" the Monarch.  This is what has been agreed for 'Megxit':

    The couple will officially step back from the roles as senior royals on March 31
    They will close their Buckingham Palace office, with their 15 loyal staff reportedly being axed
    Meghan and Harry will retail their HRH royal titles but will not use them. The same applies to the Duke's military titles
    They will not use the word 'Royal' in their branding, meaning they will have to rebrand their website and drop their trademark application for Sussex Royal
    They will return to the UK "regularly", staying at their Windsor home Frogmore Cottage
    Rather than setting up a foundation as planned, they will create a new non-profit organisation and will continue working with their existing patronages
    There will be a review of their new set up after 12 months.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global TV in Canada last month that the Canadian Government had barely been involved in the couple's new arrangements, as the Sussexes began their shift to Vancouver Island.  The Canadian leader added later that month that security arrangements would be kept confidential, and that discussions with UK authorities were ongoing.  CBC is speculating that the RCMP's move means Canadian authorities are leaving security arrangements to the British side and to the couple themselves.  There had been an outcry in Canada over the unpopular prospect of taxpayers being forced to take on the couple's ongoing costs.  The Sussexes are believed to have selected the Commonwealth country due to Meghan's close links there.  The American former actress lived in Toronto for years while filming legal drama Suits, and is said to maintain close friendships in the Ontario city.  They have relocated to a spot on Vancouver Island, which has been noted for its remote landscape's presentation of an opportunity for the pair to seek a new life away from the public spotlight.  However, they have quickly begun courting potential moneymaking ventures, with Prince Harry giving a talk to a wealthy crowd in a private talk organised by investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.  Experts have warned Harry and Meghan’s new life as an ­independent couple will be a ­security nightmare that will cause protection costs to skyrocket as they travel the globe earning millions.  The Mirror reported this week how the plans to guard the pair are far from finalised, with questions remaining over who is going to shoulder the bill for Meghan, Harry and Archie's ongoing protection.  Some fear British taxpayers will be hit with the bill.  Former Met protection officer Dai Davies said earlier: “In their current state the plans are unworkable.  Harry and Meghan’s ­situation has called for a complete ripping up of the ­rulebook and they are acting like none of the rules apply to them."

“There is already a severe lack of trained officers and this is only adding to the Met’s woes.”

Sources earlier told the Mirror the need to protect the pair was creating a 'staffing crisis' for the Met.  Officers would need to follow the globetrotting pair around the world as they made millions, which would lead to the need for them to have residences in multiple countries, as well as bloating accommodation and overtime costs.  The Met had been asked to deliver cost calculations to the Government on its security proposal, and sources told the Mirror both sides were already concerned costs could be around £20m a year - far higher than earlier estimates.  Sources earlier told the Mirror the need to protect the pair was creating a 'staffing crisis' for the Met.  Officers would need to follow the globetrotting pair around the world as they made millions, which would lead to the need for them to have residences in multiple countries, as well as bloating accommodation and overtime costs.  The Met had been asked to deliver cost calculations to the Government on its security proposal, and sources told the Mirror both sides were already concerned costs could be around £20m a year far higher than earlier estimates.  The costs include an estimated £5m for the costs of security for their Frogmore Cottage home, which the Queen has agreed to allow them to use while they are in Britain.  Former Labour MP Emma Dent Coad said earlier this week: “Why must we pay this vast sum to protect these soon-to-be non-royals to jet-set around the world as they play at being philanthropists?  They are both multi-millionaires. They won’t starve.”