Parting ways with the United Kingdom’s royal family may have been in the works for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex before the new year. Harry and Meghan’s absence from annual holiday traditions has some speculating the final nail was hammered into the coffin around Christmas.
With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex being considered “internationally protected people,” the couple had a total of 10 specialized officers deployed to provide around-the-clock protection while they celebrated the holidays in Canada, although only six would accompany the couple at all times, according to The Times of London.
The outlet reported that Harry and Markle’s jet setting has placed a strain on London’s Met police as law enforcement is currently finding it “extremely difficult” to properly train the number of royal protection officers required to meet demand.
Additionally, the Times said the travel costs for the trained officers had risen by more than $2.5 million last year alone.
Harry and Meghan “have not thought out the security implications of their move and have put the Met in an impossible situation,” a former Met police officer told the Times.
The report maintained that Harry is deemed high-risk due to his previous tour in Afghanistan as a British Army officer coupled with his current standing as captain-general of the Royal Marines.
Meanwhile, the anti-monarchy group Republic claimed the costs of royal protection has exceeded $135 million a year paid by taxpayers, according to the report, which said the couple are also demanding principals.
Meanwhile, despite reports that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had made promises directly to the Queen that Canada would pick up the security bill, Global News reports that he is unsure of Canada’s future involvement.
“There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the Royal Family, by the Sussexes themselves as to what level of engagement they choose to have,” Trudeau said. “We are obviously supportive of their reflections but have responsibilities in that as well.
“We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be,” he added.
According to the Evening Standard, Canada will still provide security to the Sussexes whether or not they continue to be guarded by British royal protection officers from Scotland Yard.