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Canada is deciding whether to cover the costs of Harry and Meghan's security

Prime minister Justin Trudeau said that Canadians were supportive of having the couple live in the country.

Harry meets Justin Trudeau in Toronto in 2017.
Harry meets Justin Trudeau in Toronto in 2017.
Image: Chris Young/The Canadian Press/PA Images

THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT has yet to decide whether it will assume the security costs associated with Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to split their time between Canada and Britain, prime minister Justin Trudeau has said.

“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 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 on Monday about 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.

The UK media had reported that Canada would contribute $650,000 per year.

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

Canadian taxpayers have traditionally contributed towards security costs when members of the UK royal family visit the country.

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.

Yesterday, 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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