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Trudeau mulls whether Canadians have to fund Harry, Meghan security

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  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will live partly in Canada as part of their “step back” as senior royals, the Queen has confirmed.
  • The Canadian government may now be under legal obligations to provide personal security for the couple, which could cost millions of taxpayers’ dollars, security experts told Reuters.
  • In an interview with Global News, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would play “some role” on the royals’ move, but whether this will include security remains unclear. 
  • “I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have,” Trudeau said.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said there will be “discussions” on whether his country’s taxpayers will fund Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s impending move to Canada.

Questions were raised over how the couple’s personal security would be funded after the Queen released a statement on Monday confirming that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be spending much of their time in Canada — one of their first acts in their “step back” as senior members of the royal family.

Security experts had told Reuters that the Canadian government would “likely” be obligated under the law to provide security for the couple because of their royal status.

In a Monday interview with Canada’s Global News broadcaster, Trudeau said his government will play “some role” in Harry and Markle’s life in Canada, but said only that there will be “lots of discussions” on whether taxpayers will have to fund their security.

“I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have,” the prime minister said.

Meghan Harry

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

AP/Star Max


He added that “there is a general feeling of appreciation” for the couple, who had also spent their holidays in Canada instead of in Britain with the rest of the royal family.

Larry Busch, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer who was responsible for world leaders’ and royals’ security, suggested to Reuters that the Sussexes might be forced to accept the Canadian government’s security even if they didn’t want it.

“I don’t believe they can refuse the government of Canada’s security,” Busch said.

The cost of protecting the royal couple could add up to millions of dollars, added Mike Zimet, the owner of a New York security firm that as provided protection for clients including Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and actor Alec Baldwin.

The Canadian government traditionally covers the costs of police protection when world leaders and royals visit the country, but whether this extends to permanent residents is unclear, Global News noted.

Harry and Markle have said that they want to become financially independent of the royal family. This means they will no longer receive money from the crown through the “sovereign grant,” and that they can earn income professionally.

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