Harry and Meghan's Canadian security bill cost £32,000 in overtime, travel and food

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan came back to thank Canada for their stay – and then returned. (Getty Images)

Keeping Prince Harry and Meghan safe during their Canadian holiday over Christmas cost more than £32,000 ($40,500) in overtime, travel and food, it has been revealed.

Papers released to the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation reveal security costs of C$56,384 from the middle of November until 22 January.

However, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who released the information, make it clear that this only covered incremental costs, like overtime and shift differential, such as night shifts.

The figures also cover expenses like travel, meals and accommodation, but don’t include the salaries of those who were assigned to look after the royal couple.

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, spent an extended Christmas break in a mansion on Vancouver Island with their son Archie.

They returned to the UK in January and thanked the people of Canada for their stay, before dropping the shock news that they wanted to step back from their roles as senior royals.

Meghan then returned to Canada, where it emerged they had left Archie while they were in London, and Harry soon followed.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Harry and Meghan decided to step back from their royal roles in January. (WireImage)

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The decision to step back from senior roles caused a security headache, and after another few weeks of covering the costs, RCMP announced they would not be willing to fund them after 31 March, when their time as working royals officially ended.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now live in Los Angeles, where it’s reported their security is costing £7,000 a day.

President Donald Trump said the US would not be paying for the couple, but they responded by clarifying that they would not have asked and would be meeting the costs themselves.

Background information released by the RCMP in the documents shows the police did not know how long Harry and Meghan would be in Canada, and that their visit was private, with no engagements planned.

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An email from Bernadine Chapman, commanding officer of the national division, included in the information reveals their concerns about the ongoing costs, and attention, as she wrote: “Media is on this like a hot potato ... so lots of coverage of the potential of the royals to spend half their time in Canada now, as an independent couplt [sic]. Media spins is about the cost to Canadians.

“We are having a greater conversation next week on the go forward on this. This has a potential to cost us huge!”

The residence of Prince Harry and and his wife Meghan is seen in Deep Cove Neighborhood  from a boat on the Saanich Inlet, North Saanich, British Columbia on January 21, 2020. - The new neighbors have been spotted out hiking and down at the farmers' market, but residents of North Saanich say they will ensure privacy for Harry and Meghan at their Canadian island hideaway. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with their baby son Archie, are living at the scenic, wooded property of Mille Fleurs on Vancouver Island after exiting from their royal roles. (Photo by Mark GOODNOW / AFP) (Photo by MARK GOODNOW/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan stayed at this property in British Columbia while in Canada over Christmas. (Getty Images)

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It also reveals there wasn’t an increased threat to the couple or Archie, but acknowledges the number of paparazzi in the area.

Writing about the costs to the Canadian taxpayer, Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said: “More than $50,000 is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider the fact that this is taxpayers’ money covering bills for one of the most famous and wealthy couples in the world.

“Had the government not cut them off and had Meghan and Harry stayed in Canada, the bill could have easily turned into millions.”

RCMP said they could not release salary information for security reasons and to protect operations.

Canada had to pay towards the security for Harry and Meghan because it is a Commonwealth nation, but the US would not have the same obligation to British royals.

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