Prince Harry under scrutiny over high-security costs for romantic Canada getaways

Prince Harry was provided with official royal security throughout his life because of his seniority within the Royal Family. New reports obtained by Canadian media have shown the Duke of Sussex costed taxpayers over £250,000 with his frequent visits to the country in the early stages of his relationship with Meghan Markle. CBC News reporter Elizabeth Thompson reported that Meghan was escorted by Scotland Yard police bodyguard at the Invictus Games opening ceremony in 2017, with Canadian taxpayers bearing the heavy costs.

Ms Thompson said: “Prince Harry has usually for his entire life been surrounded by security,

“And when he has visited Canada, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) works with the British security to make sure that he stays safe in Canada, but it’s cost a lot more than Canadians realise.

“The documents that were released to CBC News under access to information show that between January 2016 and February 2020, it cost more than $334,000 to sub in an additional cost for the RCMP to supply security for him and that’s above and beyond the salaries of the officers who were assigned to protect him.”

She continued: “Now a lot of people might think that the most expensive period was when they spent that Christmas in Canada and they were thinking of stepping back and maybe living in Canada part-time.

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“But in fact, the most expensive period was the period that you mentioned, it was 2017-2018. He had a week-long period where he was doing official engagements with the Invictus Games that he founded.

“He also appeared at WE Day and gave out some Duke of Edinburgh awards and things like that but it was also the period where he had started seriously dating Meghan Markle who was living in Toronto while she was filming the show Suits.

“So the paparazzi who you started hanging out around Meghan Markle’s house when it became known that they were sort of dating, they used to see like six big Black SUVs on this little suburban residential street that she lived on and in those SUVs were British security but also RCMP.”

During the Invictus Games opening ceremony, Meghan Markle attended the event alongside her now-husband Prince Harry and her best friend Markus Anderson. 

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Assistant Commissioner, Commanding Officer Québec Division (RCMP) Pierre-Yves Bourduas said that the RCMP has to consider the danger/threats and provide them with protection ahead of any VIP visiting Canada.

He said: ”They still have a responsibility, because what if something would happen to that very important person in our country?

“The ripple effect … could have a negative reflection on our country and how [seriously] we are taking the security of these types of individuals that are enjoying the hospitality of our country.”

Prince Harry and Meghan announced their exit from the Royal Family on January 18, 2020, and stepped down as active royal members were scraped of their security by the Firm.

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