Canada offers to pick up Harry and Meghan’s £500,000 security bill
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed taxpayers in his country should pay for Prince Harry, Meghan and their son Archie’s protection while they are there.
Trudeau has assured the Queen that the family will be safe while in his country, with Canada expected to pay around half of the estimated £1million annual bill.
But there are concerns that the large cost could lead to a backlash in Canada and damage the status of the monarchy there, reported the London Evening Standard.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II, seeking to defuse a spiraling crisis in the British royal family, said on Monday that she would allow Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, to make a transition to being part-time, splitting their time between Britain and Canada and supporting themselves.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the queen said after an extraordinary family meeting at her country home, Sandringham.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family,” the queen said, “we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
Harry and Meghan are entitled to 24/7 taxpayer-funded protection at home and abroad as members of the Royal Family, whether on official duties or on holiday.
The couple believe this should continue, even though their security bill is close to £1million a year and this could rise further if arrangements become more complex.
But Scotland Yard have privately insinuated that they are not in the position to write an open-ended cheque for round-the-clock security if the couple are living abroad.
Buckingham Palace, the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill and the Home Office have already discussed the future of the couple’s security.
The £1million-a-year cost of the couple’s security has been brought down only because they have chosen to live in Windsor, which is already heavily guarded.
However the couple will need constant protection, having been subjected to threats from far-Right organisations and because of Harry’s military service in Afghanistan.
Asked about the issue of who will fund their security, Home Secretary Priti Patel told the BBC today: ‘I’m not going to provide any detailed information on the security arrangements for either them or any members of the Royal Family or for any protected individuals – that’s thoroughly inappropriate for me to do so.
‘At this moment in time, right now, the royal family themselves need some time and space for them to work through the current issues that they’re dealing with.’
Last week it was suggested that Harry and Meghan could face a huge backlash from Canadian taxpayers if they are forced to pay for the couple’s security.