Canada has said it will stop providing protection for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they step down as working royals and embark on a “financially independent” life.
The duke and duchess have spent much of the past three months living in the Commonwealth country and plan to make it their base when they quit royal duties at the end of March.
But questions have been raised about who will pay for keeping them and their baby son Archie safe once they leave public life in the UK.
Host countries would usually pick up the royal security bill for state visits, but Canada’s Home Office has said the couple's part-time relocation presents the government with “a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances”.
The Minister for Public Safety said: “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”.
Security expert Will Geddes told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham that if the couple are “earning their own bean”, the responsibility should fall on them to privately finance their safekeeping.
He warned: “The more freedom and more liberty they want, the more expensive it potentially can become.”
However, Mr Geddes added that a possible solution could be to charge the costs to the hosts of events they attend.
“There are ways to circumvent your personal bill by putting the onus of responsibility, not necessarily back on the Royal Family or us as tax payers, but by the hosts that will be facilitating their talks, their meetings, their visits, that sort of thing.”
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