A petition demanding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s £20 million security bill does not land at the feet of British taxpayers has received more than 5,000 signatures – just a day after being set up.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world when they announced their intention to quit as senior working royals at the end of this month, and to move to North America to pursue lucrative commercial careers.
However, the Canadian government, which has a legal obligation to provide security to so-called internationally protected persons, last week refused to keep guarding the couple, and baby son Archie, in keeping with their ‘change in status’.
The security bill for Meghan and Harry, pictured, will not be covered by the Canadian government and now thousands of British people have signed a petition demanding the cost doesn’t fall at the feet of the taxpayer
More than 5,000 people have already signed the petition, which claims it is the couple’s ‘own responsibility to provide their own security’
Who will foot the bill for Meghan and Harry’s security costs?
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RMCP) revealed last week they will cease to provide security for Meghan and Harry once they officially step back from their royal duties – a deal brokered with the Met Police.
In their roles as senior royals, the couple had their security paid for by the state and once they step back from these officials roles it has not yet been clear as to who will foot the bill.
According to the Royals’ 2018-2019 financial reports, physical security is not covered by the Sovereign Grant.
The costs are likely to fall on British taxpayers even when the prince and the former actress move to Canada on a permanent basis.
This could be due to the fact that Harry has been a high-value target since serving in the military, but he is still set to receive money from his father from the Duchy Estate and could use these funds to pay to keep his family safe.
Harry is worth an estimated £30million, made up partly from funds left in a trust to him by his mother, Princess Diana, inheritance from the Queen Mother and partly from his earnings as a captain of the Army.
If Meghan were to go back to acting she could be in for a princely sum of money, as she made £3million from appearing on American TV show Suits.
As a result, it looks likely the UK taxpayer will fund their security, but a poll answered by more than 14,000 viewers of ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday found nine in ten people opposed such a plan.
Experts say the Sussexes’ decision to live abroad, as well as their insistence on retaining their official police protection, will see the bill for guarding them rocket – and prove a huge strain on manpower.
The extra security cost of keeping nine-month-old Archie in Canada without his parents this week could be £50,000, it was reported over the weekend.
Now a new petition, already been signed by thousands of people, claims the couple are ‘already multi-millionaires in their own right’ and that using the public purse to fund their protection is ‘undemocratic’.
A message on the site reads: ‘They have made their choice to step back from Royal duties, and to live abroad and travel globally to achieve financial independence.
‘It is, therefore, their own responsibility to provide their own security, not the responsibility of the UK taxpayers.
‘Therefore, we the undersigned object to paying for Harry, Meghan and their son’s global security costs, and to stop the UK Parliament, House of Commons and the House of Lords, from making any contribution towards them.’
Click here to view the petition.