Anger mounts at Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s security bill

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were facing an angry backlash today as their £20million security bill looks set to fall squarely on British taxpayers after Canada refused to keep paying.  

Canadian police confirmed last night it would stop guarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they step down as working royals and become private citizens after Megxit on March 31. 

This means the cost of round-the-clock protection for the couple and baby Archie will fall to the taxpayer-funded Met Police, despite the couple leaving the UK for North America. The force refused to comment on whether the couple would contribute any private funds.

Royal expert Phil Dampier today attacked the new set-up, arguing the couple should not receive public money for security when they become private citizens with their own income, which is set to be millions of pounds a year.  

‘It was only a matter of time before the Canadians stopped paying for their security because they’re no longer working royals and now obviously the burden will fall on British taxpayers,’ he told MailOnline. 

‘The public will be angry at having to pay for this when they’re not spending time in the UK or contributing to the royal family. The costs will become unsustainable – they will soon have to start paying for themselves.’ 

The Taxpayers’ Alliance said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex can’t have it both ways: either they’re working royals with the obligations which that entails, or they’re private citizens seeking independence.’ 

Meghan Markle is pictured above taking her two dogs for a walk with baby Archie with Canadian security guards

Meghan Markle is pictured above taking her two dogs for a walk with baby Archie with Canadian security guards

UKIP founder Alan Sked was among social media users who today attacked the idea of British taxpayers footing Meghan and Harry's security costs

UKIP founder Alan Sked was among social media users who today attacked the idea of British taxpayers footing Meghan and Harry’s security costs 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pictured above earlier this month. It is said that costs to keep the couple safe are continuing to soar

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pictured above earlier this month. It is said that costs to keep the couple safe are continuing to soar

Prince Harry is pictured above leaving Victoria International Airport in Victoria

Prince Harry is pictured above leaving Victoria International Airport in Victoria 

Harry and Meghan's travels this year and where they are expected to be going in March

Harry and Meghan’s travels this year and where they are expected to be going in March 

It is the first time Canada has confirmed it has been helping to guard Harry and Meghan since they settled on Vancouver Island last November. But last night it announced this would cease from April in keeping with their ‘change in status’. 

Canada has a legal obligation to provide security to so-called internationally protected persons. 

The Sussexes arrived there on a temporary visit in November as full working royals, and the Mounties gave them protection as they always have on such visits – with Canadian taxpayers picking up the bill.

But now Harry and Meghan intend to live in North America to pursue lucrative commercial careers and will quit as senior working royals on March 31.

The prospect of UK taxpayers footing the bill sparked anger on social media today. 

UKIP founder Alan Sked wrote: ‘So Canada will no longer pay the security bill for Harry and Meghan. We should certainly pay to protect them while in the UK or while representing the Queen abroad. But if they want to be independent celebrities in North America, shouldn’t they pay for their own security there?’

And Twitter user Colin Murphy commented: ‘Of course they should pay. Since marrying Meghan H has become an arrogant money grabber. I used to respect his hard work and genuine care for our “heroes”. Now he’s disrespecting the British Public to feather Meghan’s nest. Go Harry, pay security!’

Taxpayers currently pay £600,000 for the Sussexes’ team of royal protection officers, who each cost around £100,000 for their salary, overtime, overseas allowance, pensions, flights and accommodation. 

But costs will rise greatly when the couple move overseas, with an internal memo seen by The Mirror predicting the couple would need at least 12 protection officers to cover them on their trips, which are often made apart. 

The Met Police calculated the total annual bill could rise to £20m, according to the report.  

Graham Smith, from Republic, said Harry and Meghan should have to fund their own security after becoming ‘private citizens’. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry DROP bid to trademark Sussex Royal name

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have abandoned their bid to trademark the Sussex Royal brand in Britain to cash in on their links to the monarch. 

Documents filed at the Intellectual Property Office show a request to use the names Sussex Royal and Sussex Royal Foundation for commercial and charity activities in the UK had been removed.  

It followed the Queen’s decision that they could not use the ‘Royal’ label after deciding to step down as working royals and move to North America. 

An application to use the royal trademark on toiletries, beer, toys, jewellery and sporting goods in Europe is still active.

That is despite the couple saying last weekend that they would not use the word ‘Royal’ overseas.   

‘We’re currently being asked to pay for their security where they’re doing private engagements and earnings, which is unacceptable,’ he said. ‘They’re going to be in Canada and often not together so the costs are going to be astronomical.’

There are precedents covering their own costs, with Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson paying for a team of former Met officers to protect their daughters, Eugenie and Beatrice. 

Princess Diana also paid for her own security costs, although many experts say her decision to abandon Scotland Yard professionals may have contributed to her death in a car chauffeured by a drunk driver. 

In a statement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said yesterday: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to relocate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances.

‘The RCMP has been engaged with officials in the UK from the very beginning regarding security considerations. 

‘As the duke and duchess are currently recognised 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 November 2019. 

‘The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status.’ 

Buckingham Palace said today: ‘We do not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.’ 

Prince Harry greets Justin Trudeau in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace in London during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April 2018. Mr Trudeau had previously promised that the couple would be safe when in Canada

Prince Harry greets Justin Trudeau in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace in London during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April 2018. Mr Trudeau had previously promised that the couple would be safe when in Canada 

The Duchess of Sussex, then Meghan Markle, speaks to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the One Young World summit in Ottowa in September 2016. Mr Trudeau previously said that any security arrangements for the couple would be confidential

The Duchess of Sussex, then Meghan Markle, speaks to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the One Young World summit in Ottowa in September 2016. Mr Trudeau previously said that any security arrangements for the couple would be confidential 

Harry and Meghan spent their first Christmas with baby Archie at this £10million waterfront mansion on Vancouver Island in Canada

Harry and Meghan spent their first Christmas with baby Archie at this £10million waterfront mansion on Vancouver Island in Canada

Who will foot the bill for Meghan and Harry’s security costs?

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RMCP) today revealed that they will cease to provide security for Meghan and Harry once they officially step back from their royal duties.

Canadian officials said that this had been a deal that was brokered with the Met Police in London.

In their roles as senior royals, the couple had their security paid for by the state and once they step back from these officials roles in the coming weeks it has not yet been clear as to who will foot the bill.

According to the Royals’ 2018-2019 financial reports, physical security is not covered by the Sovereign Grant.

The costs are likely to fall on British taxpayers even when the prince and the former actress move to Canada on a permanent basis.

This could be due to the fact that Harry has been a high-value target since serving in the military.

But Prince Harry is still set to receive money from his father from the Duchy Estate and could use these funds to pay to keep his family safe. 

Harry is worth an estimated £30million, made up partly from funds left in a trust to him by his mother, Princess Diana, inheritance from the Queen Mother (which reportedly included her jewels) and partly from his earnings as a captain of the Army. 

The decision puts the globe-trotting couple in a potentially explosive predicament. 

As recently as last Friday, when they updated their personal website, the Sussexes were adamant they are legally entitled to year-round police protection.

In a statement they said: ‘It is agreed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son.

‘This is based on the duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into the Royal Family, his military service, the duchess’s own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years.’

But with Canada now refusing to help, the responsibility for protecting the Sussexes will be placed solely at the feet of the Metropolitan Police – and UK taxpayers.

The only other option would be for the couple to agree to pay for their own security guards. 

Some have suggested they might accept the kind of arrangement favoured by Tony Blair, who pays for his own bodyguards for lucrative foreign business trips.

But the duke and duchess appear unwilling to do this, given the strength of their recent statement. Dai Davies, who led the Met’s royalty protection unit, said: ‘It’s the first time in 300 years of royalty protection that anyone has ever done this to a member of the Royal Family.

The Duke of Sussex released this photograph of him with baby Archie on New Year's Eve, while the family were in Canada

The Duke of Sussex released this photograph of him with baby Archie on New Year’s Eve, while the family were in Canada 

Police in Canada have today revealed that they will stop paying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's security costs after the pair officially step back from royal life (the couple are pictured above in London last month)

Police in Canada have today revealed that they will stop paying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s security costs after the pair officially step back from royal life (the couple are pictured above in London last month)

The couple insisted in their statement last week that they need security 'to protect them and their son' amid controversy surrounding protection costs

The couple insisted in their statement last week that they need security ‘to protect them and their son’ amid controversy surrounding protection costs

‘Just call me Harry!’: Prince DROPS his royal title as he returns to Britain without Meghan to launch an eco-friendly tourism firm in Edinburgh – after arriving by train

The Duke of Sussex this week embarked on his final round of engagements as a senior working royal as he launched a new eco-friendly travel firm in Edinburgh – and asked delegates ‘just to call him Harry’.

Prince Harry, who will step down as a senior royal in less than five weeks, is in the Scottish capital for a ‘working summit’ of the Travalyst partnership, which will feature a grading system for users to track their carbon emissions.

Before he took to the stage on Wednesday, host Ayesha Hazarika, a former Labour adviser, said: ‘He’s made it clear that we are all just to call him Harry. So ladies and gentlemen, please give a big, warm, Scottish welcome to Harry.’

Asking to be addressed simply as Harry, he said the industry in Scotland was at the forefront of making the sector greener

Asking to be addressed simply as Harry, he said the industry in Scotland was at the forefront of making the sector greener

Harry flew to Britain from Canada on a commercial flight earlier this week and arrived in Edinburgh on an eco-friendly LNER train from London King’s Cross station, with taxpayer-funded Scotland Yard bodyguards.  

The 35-year-old Duke, who is officially known as the Earl of Dumbarton when in Scotland, has been stung by criticism over the past six months of his frequent use of private jets while campaigning on environmental issues.  

‘There are two options now for them and us: that the Met will carry on guarding them and footing the bill, which is unacceptable to many, or they agree a system where they make a contribution to the costs personally.

‘But their statement doesn’t seem to suggest they would wish to do that. With budgets straining at the moment, this is a huge problem that the Met will have to get a grip on and quickly.’

It was previously reported that Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau had given the UK a commitment that his government would contribute to the costs, although this was never confirmed. Recent polls found that only one in five Canadians believes paying for the couple’s security is an appropriate use of state funds.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation delivered an 80,000-signature petition to Mr Trudeau’s office opposing footing the bill. There has been similar opposition in the UK. Buckingham Palace and the Met refused to comment last night, and it was clear Scotland Yard had been caught unawares by the Canadian statement.

Scotland Yard is already carrying out a full review of security for the duke and duchess. 

A joint committee made up of the Home Secretary, the Met’s royalty protection command chief, and palace officials are assessing whether their 24-hour protection should continue. 

Mr Davies has estimated the bill will exceed £1million a year for their close protection team and extra uniformed police required on engagements. 

He said the cost of each officer will reach £100,000 for salary, overtime, overseas allowance, pensions, flights and accommodation.

Harry is in the UK completing his last official engagements as a senior royal, and will be joined by Meghan next week. Today he will record a charity single for his Invictus Games Foundation with rock star Jon Bon Jovi at Abbey Road Studios in London.   

Prince Harry

Prince Harry

Prince Harry was seen carrying his own suit through Edinburgh Waverley earlier this week (left) after arriving with his team (right). The team are believed to be part of his UK security team that is funding by the UK taxpayer 

Harry and Meghan’s statement on their website in full

AS AGREED AND SET OUT IN JANUARY 2020: 

  • It is agreed that the commencement of the revised role of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take effect Spring 2020 and undergo a 12 month review. 
  • The Royal Family respect and understand the wish of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to live a more independent life as a family, by removing the supposed ‘public interest’ justification for media intrusion into their lives. They remain a valued part of Her Majesty’s family. 
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become privately funded members of The Royal Family with permission to earn their own income and the ability to pursue their own private charitable interests. 
  • The preference of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was to continue to represent and support Her Majesty The Queen albeit in a more limited capacity, while not drawing on the Sovereign Grant.
  • While there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution, for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place. 
  • Per the agreement The Duke and Duchess of Sussex understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties and not undertake representative duties on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. 
  • As agreed and set out in January, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will retain their ‘HRH’ prefix, thereby formally remaining known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer actively use their HRH titles as they will no longer be working members of the family as of Spring 2020. 
  • As the grandson of Her Majesty and second son of The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex remains sixth in line to the throne of The British Monarchy and the Order of Precedence is unchanged. 
  • It was agreed that The Duke and Duchess will no longer be able to formally carry out ‘official duties’ for The Queen or represent The Commonwealth, but they will, however, be allowed to maintain their patronages (including those that are classified as ‘royal’ patronages). 
  • It is agreed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son. This is based on The Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years. No further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons.
  • In relation to the military, The Duke of Sussex will retain the rank of Major, and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander, and Squadron Leader. During this 12-month period of review, The Duke’s official military appointments will not be used as they are in the gift of the Sovereign. No new appointments will be made to fill these roles before the 12-month review of the new arrangements is completed. 
  • While per the agreement, The Duke will not perform any official duties associated with these roles, given his dedication to the military community and ten years of service he will of course continue his unwavering support to the military community in a non-official capacity. As founder of the Invictus Games, The Duke will proudly continue supporting the military community around the world through the Invictus Games Foundation and The Endeavour Fund. 
  • Based on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s desire to have a reduced role as members of The Royal Family, it was decided in January that their Institutional Office would have to be closed, given the primary funding mechanism for this official office at Buckingham Palace is from HRH The Prince of Wales. The Duke and Duchess shared this news with their team personally in January once they knew of the decision, and have worked closely with their staff to ensure a smooth transition for each of them. 
  • Over the last month and a half, The Duke and Duchess have remained actively involved in this process, which has understandably been saddening for The Duke and Duchess and their loyal staff, given the closeness of Their Royal Highnesses and their dedicated team. 
  • As The Duke and Duchess will no longer be considered full-time working Members of The Royal Family, it was agreed that use of the word ‘Royal’ would need to be reviewed as it pertains to organisations associated with them in this new regard. More details on this below. 

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: 

  • As shared in early January on this website, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally. 
  • The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to. While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal’, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal.’ 
  • For the above reason, the trademark applications that had been filed as protective measures and that reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been removed. 
  • While there is not any jurisdiction by The Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word ‘Royal’ overseas, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ or any iteration of the word ‘Royal’ in any territory (either within the UK or otherwise) when the transition occurs Spring 2020. 
  • As The Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to develop their non-profit organisation and plan for their future, we hope that you use this site as the source for factual information. In Spring 2020, their digital channels will be refreshed as they introduce the next exciting phase to you. 

 

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