Trump says US ‘will not pay for security protection’ for Prince Harry and Meghan after move to California

Danielle Zoellner
Getty Images

President Donald Trump says the US will not pay for the security of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after the couple decided to move from Canada to California.

"I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the US however, the US will not pay for their security protection. They must pay," Mr Trump wrote in a tweet on Sunday.

According to reports, the royal couple recently left Vancouver Island for Los Angeles, where Meghan grew up.

The US and UK have a longstanding agreement between the two countries to provide security protection to diplomats and members of the Royal Family when visiting the country. But sources said Harry might lose this benefit after he and his wife decided to step down as senior royals, making them no longer “international protected persons”.

The president did not say if Harry or the British government asked for protection to be extended to the family after they decided to move to Los Angeles. The Independent contacted the Royal Family for a comment.

Later on Sunday, the couple issued a statement saying they had “no plans” to ask the US for pay for their security and that “privately-funded arrangements” have already been made.

The couple announced earlier this year they would be moving away from the UK and stepping away from their royal duties, an announcement that sent shockwaves through the Royal Family. Initially Harry and Meghan planned to settle down in Canada with their 10-month-old son, Archie.

Canada reportedly paid for the their security starting in November, but officials said they would stop paying for the protection after March once their royal duties ended.

“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,” Canada’s public safety minister Bill Blair’s office wrote in a statement, according to CBC. “The RCMP 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.”

Prime minister Justin Trudeau previously said “discussions were ongoing” with the UK about how security protection would be paid for while the family was in Canada.

The US and Canada agreed earlier this month to close their borders to non-essential travel amid the coronavirus pandemic around the same time Harry and Meghan charted a private plane from Canada to California, The Sun reported last week.

Harry and Meghan attended their last event under their titles earlier this month at the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey before their royal status ends on 31 March.

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