Friday, 14 Aug 2020

Meghan Markle and Harry cut off as Canada refuses to continue funding couple

Public Safety Canada threw a spanner into the works as it announced it will no longer meet the security costs for the couple who are just weeks away from their dash for freedom. The governmental department responsible for helping to maintain a peaceful society in Canada released a statement to CBC News detailing the future arrangement. 

They said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been protected by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since arriving in the country in November – but this will end “in the coming weeks”. 

The body said the Canadian government was faced with an “unprecedented set of circumstances” when Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, decided late last year to spend an extended period in the Great White North. 

The development comes as the pair will wrap up their final royal duties with a string of engagements in the UK over the coming weeks before officially stepping down on March 31. 

Harry took a commercial flight from Canada to London on Tuesday while his American wife and their son Archie are expected to join him early next week. 

Public Safety Canada said: “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. 

“The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has been engaged with officials in the UK from the very beginning regarding security considerations.

“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.” 

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The confirmation comes after weeks of speculation over who would pay for the couple’s massive security costs after they have broken ties with the Royal Family. 

Since the Queen’s grandson and his wife dropped their bombshell announcement in early January, reports have suggested Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed that his government would help with the security costs. 

But while Mr Trudeau said the country was happy to host Harry, Meghan and little Archie for Christmas, he has never confirmed Ottowa would cough up for the family long-term. 

By cutting the Sussexes off from the public purse, Mr Trudeau has avoided a financial burden which would no doubt have been met with widespread criticism at home. 

In January thousands of Candians signed a petition demanding the Sussexes pay for their own security. 

Security for the prince and his former actress wife is estimated to cost into the millions of dollars every year. 

The Canadian government’s announcement comes as royal fans are waiting to see Harry and Meghan make their first official appearance together since Megzit. 

They will celebrate the achievements of wounded servicemen and women when they attend their first joint UK event since announcing their decision to step down from royal duties.

Harry and Meghan will attend the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5 to honour sick and injured military who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges over the past year.

Additional reporting by Katie Harris. 

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