Surprise! This is Who Will Really Be Paying For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Security

Following Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry’s bombshell announcement that they were “stepping back as senior royals” and would “work to become financially independent,” so many questions were raised.

One that keeps coming up is about their security detail after the couple said that they don’t want to rely on public funding from the British taxpayers any longer. However, the duke and duchess still have their 24-hour armed protection officers by their sides now even after Queen Elizabeth agreed to allow them to step down from their roles. There was talk that Canada would pick up the cost but that hasn’t happened. So who’s paying for their protection? The answer will surprise you.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex | VICTORIA JONES/AFP via Getty Images

Who’s footing the bill for Harry and Meghan’s security detail?

The biggest cost to the Sussexes as they step out of the royal spotlight is security. The Evening Standard noted that the cost to protect the queen’s family is estimated to be $130 million a year. So who will the cost for Harry and Meghan fall on now given their decision to split their time between the U.K. and North America?

It’s been reported that will still be on the British taxpayers even when the prince and retired actress are overseas. But why?

Well, according to royal expert Dickie Arbiterwith, with no new plan in place, the Sussexes will continue to have armed protection and “the cost will be paid for by the British public due to Prince Harry being a high-value target since he served in the military.”

“It is the British taxpayers who are going to be funding the security,” Arbiterwith said. “It will have to happen because Harry has served in the army and is a risk. Prince Harry is a terrorist target and he has to be protected.”

Could the cost shift to Canadian taxpayers?

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS – WPA Pool/Getty Images

There were initial reports that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Queen Elizabeth that his government would fund the security cost for Harry, Meghan, and baby Archie. But there’s a process that can’t be ignored for that to actually happen.

Before any decision like that can be finalized, it has to pass through the Canadian Cabinet and Parliament.

“The [Canadian] government will have to decide at the Cabinet-level and debate it in Parliament before the money is released,” Arbiterwith explained.

And so far, according to finance minister Bill Morneau, “Canada hasn’t decided if it would cover security costs for Prince Harry and Meghan.”

“Therefore, for the time being, Scotland Yard will continue guarding [them] until a time they come up with an alternative plan,” Arbiterwith added.

So yes, for the foreseeable future, the British taxpayers will continue to fund the duke and duchess’ round-the-clock protection.

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