Canada has been paying for Harry and Meghan's security, but that will stop soon
OTTAWA -- Public Safety Canada has confirmed that the Canadian government has been footing the bill for Prince Harry and Meghan’s security costs "intermittently" over the past three months.
In a statement to CTV News, the agency said because the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are deemed internationally protected persons, "Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as needed basis."
The government had until this point stayed mum about whether Canada was responsible for these costs, which some estimated could cost around $10 million a year.
"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 statement reads.
The couple announced in January that they wanted to reside part-time in Canada, which was later given the green light by the Queen.
Public Safety Canada said their security services will cease "in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status."
Harry and Meghan have decided to forgo their royal titles as part of their decision to step back from royal duties.
CTV’s royal commentator Richard Berthelsen says that given their change in status, extensive security detail on behalf of the RCMP won’t be necessary.
"There isn’t a compelling reason for the government to continue to provide security," Berthelsen told CTV News Channel on Thursday. "That said, there is a bit of a risk in the case of this couple, particularly as they have a young child, but this announcement today is making it clear their security outside the Royal Family is their responsibility."
The onus falls on the couple or the British government to decide whether they hire their own private security detail, says Berthelsen.
He adds that their decision to lead a more private life might actually have the opposite effect.
"The media interest isn’t going to cease for a while just because this is so unusual what they’ve chosen to do with their roles. Every part of it is going to be parsed and examined for appropriateness for many, many years to come," said Berthelsen.