Following their exit from the royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle security costs will not be paid for by Canada. In a statement to CBC News, the Canadian government confirmed that while Royal Canadian Mounted Police were provided to act as security to the couple and 9-month-old son Archie, that agreement will cease come spring, when the couple will officially step down as senior members of the royal family.
"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 office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement. "The RCMP has been engaged with officials in the U.K. from the very beginning regarding security considerations."
"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," it continued. "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."
The topic of who will cover security costs for the couple has lingered ever since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced on Jan. 8 their decision to "step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family," explaining that they would instead embark on becoming "financially independent."
A statement later shared on the couple's website explained the necessity of "effective security" for the couple and their son, citing Harry's "public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years."
As the couple returned to British Columbia to be with Archie, talk of security only increased, with more than 80,000 Canadian citizens signing a petition stating that "Canadian taxpayers shouldn't have to cover the couple's bills."
At this time, it remains unclear who will pay for the family’s security after March 31, the date on which they are scheduled to officially step down as senior members of the royal family.
In the coming days, the couple is expected to make a number of public appearances, including attending the Endeavor Fund Awards on March 5, the Mountbatten Music Festival on March 7, and the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.