Canada yet to decide if it will pay Harry and Meghan security costs

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MONTREAL, Jan 14, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – The Canadian government has yet to
decide whether it will assume the security costs associated with Prince Harry
and Meghan Markle’s decision to split their time between Canada and Britain,
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

“I think that is part of the reflection that… needs to be had, and there
are discussions going on,” Trudeau said in an interview with Canadian
television channel Global.

“We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be, where the
dispositions are and those are decisions for them,” he said.

Harry and Meghan caught the world off guard last week when they announced
their intention to step back from frontline royal duties.

According to Trudeau, Canadians are “very supportive” of having the royal
couple live in Canada, but there are still “lots of discussions to have.”

“We haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” said Canadian
finance minister Bill Morneau, who was interviewed earlier Monday about
British press reports that Trudeau had assured Queen Elizabeth II that Canada
would cover security costs for Harry and Meghan.

“We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the
Commonwealth, we play a role,” Morneau said.

British press had reported Canada would contribute $650,000 (500,000
pounds) per year.

Canadian media have estimated that protecting the couple and their baby
son Archie would cost about $1.3 million (Can$1.7 million) per year.

Canadian taxpayers have traditionally contributed towards security costs
when members of the Royal Family visit the country.

Prince Harry and Meghan, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,
have said their official plan is to continue to “fully support” the queen and
honour their duties to the Commonwealth and their patronages.

But they want to make 2020 a transition year to carve out their new role
and launch their new Sussex Royal charitable entity and seek to raise their
own sources of income.

On Monday, Queen Elizabeth II allowed her grandson Harry and Meghan to
split their time between Canada and Britain.

But she frankly admitted that the couple’s decision was not welcome news.

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