Canada refuses to pay for Harry and Meghan's security when they step down as royals

27 February 2020, 23:57 | Updated: 28 February 2020, 00:01

Harry and Meghan will need to provide their own security when they are living in Canada
Harry and Meghan will need to provide their own security when they are living in Canada. Picture: PA

Canadian authorities have announced they will be no longer provide security services for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they officially step down as senior royals.

Meghan and Harry have spent almost three months living in the north American country and have said they will make it their main home when they quit royalty and become financially independent on 31 March.

There has been speculation about who will pay the bill for keeping the couple and their baby son Archie safe, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau facing questions about the issue in recent weeks.

Former Home Office minister Norman Baker called for the Met Police to cap the annual expenditure on security for Harry and Meghan to its 2019 level, with any extra costs met by the couple or the Queen and Prince of Wales.

In a statement Canada's Office of the Minister of Public Safety said: "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.

Meghan will join her husband in the UK for what is expected to be her final duties as a royal
Meghan will join her husband in the UK for what is expected to be her final duties as a royal. Picture: PA

"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 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 declined to comment on the development as did Scotland Yard with a spokeswoman saying "we don't discuss matters of security".

Harry and Meghan's new website has a question and answer section for visitors, and in response to the posed question "Does their future financial autonomy extend to covering the costs of security?", the site attempts to give an explanation.

They will be making a new life with their young son Archie when they leave the royal family
They will be making a new life with their young son Archie when they leave the royal family. Picture: PA

It states: "The provision of armed security by the Metropolitan Police is mandated by the Home Office, a ministerial department of Her Majesty's Government, responsible for security and law & order."

In an update to the website published last week, the portal adds: "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."

The duke and duchess plunged the royal family into a period of crisis when they announced in January they wanted to step back as senior royals and become financially independent - a move dubbed Megxit by the press.

A summit of senior royals was later convened by the Queen at Sandringham to discuss the issue, with Harry sitting down for talks with his grandmother, father the Prince of Wales and brother the Duke of Cambridge.

The pair will become financially independent
The pair will become financially independent. Picture: PA

It was later announced they would give up royal duties, split their time between Canada and the UK, with the majority spent in North America.

Harry will retain his position in the line of succession and the pair will keep their HRH titles. although will no longer use them.

The pair are set to step foot on UK soil for the first time since their bombshell announcement this week to complete their final duties as royals before they leave.

They will celebrate the achievements of wounded servicemen and servicewomen in London on 5 March.

They will appear at the Endeavour Fund Awards in Mansion House to honour sick and injured military personnel who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges over the past year.

The couple’s last public appearance in Britain was on 7 January when they visited the Canadian Embassy in London to pay gratitude for their six-week stay in the country over Christmas.

will celebrate the achievements of wounded servicemen and servicewomen in London on 5 March.

They will appear at the Endeavour Fund Awards in Mansion House to honour sick and injured military personnel who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges over the past year.

The couple’s last public appearance in Britain was on 7 January when they visited the Canadian Embassy in London to pay gratitude for their six-week stay in the country over Christmas.

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