Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will have to find their own means of protection while living part-time in Canada, as local officials have announced they will no longer provide Royal Canadian Mounted Police security, according to a report.
"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," wrote the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair in a statement shared with CBC News on Thursday. "As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as-needed basis.”
The Sussexes announced in January they would be stepping back from their roles and would be splitting their lives between the U.K., the U.S. and Canada. As of March 31, they will no longer be active royals, which means they will also lose the security benefits that came with the “Internationally Protected Persons” status. Despite their step away from the royal family, the couple will still keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
"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 assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status."
The cost of their security, which the Daily Mail has estimated to be around 20 million British pounds – or $25.5 million – has outraged U.K. taxpayers who will most likely now be on the hook for the hefty bill.
Richard Fitzwilliams, a Royal expert, told the outlet that given Harry’s position as sixth in line for the British throne, as well as his veteran status, “It is obvious that the British taxpayer will pick up this tab as he, Meghan and Archie are such high profile members of the royal family.”
“Security cannot in any way be linked to personal popularity. Harry has always been such a popular member of the royal family but he has recently changed a good deal,” Fitzwilliams told the Mail. “Whether they will get the same level of security after March 31 that they are getting now is another matter.”
British taxpayers are currently footing the 600,000-pound security cost, which amounts to just over $765,000.
A second Royal expert, Phil Dampier, added: “The public will be angry at having to pay for this when they're not spending time in the UK or contributing to the royal family. The costs will become unsustainable - they will soon have to start paying for themselves.”