Queen Elizabeth has announced that the royal couple will spend time in Canada and the United Kingdom during a "period of transition"

By Maria Pasquini
January 13, 2020 03:52 PM

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be spending a lot more time in Canada moving forward, but it remains to be seen who will be picking up the tab for their security.

At the conclusion of the historic family summit on Monday, Queen Elizabeth announced that that as conversations regarding their decision to step down as senior royals continue, there will be a “period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.”

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” The Queen, 93, said in the statement, going on to specifically mention that the royal couple “do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”

“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

One such matter that appears to still be unresolved is the question of who will cover security costs for the royal couple and their son Archie during their time in Canada.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty

According to a report from the Evening Standard, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has privately assured the Queen that Canada will help pay for their security, although Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau has gone on the record as saying no final decision has been made.

“No, we haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” Morneau told reporters on Monday, according to CBC News. “We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role. We have not had any discussions on that subject at this time.”

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have yet to offer much clarification.

Anticipating that there would be many questions about their groundbreaking decision, Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, previously laid out the details of their plan on their website, SussexRoyal.com. However, the section relating to how their “future financially autonomy” extends “to covering the costs of security” did not provide many answers.

“The provision of armed security by The Metropolitan Police is mandated by the Home Office, a ministerial department of Her Majesty’s Government, responsible for security and law & order. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security,” the website reads.

“As stated on gov.uk, ‘No breakdown of security costs is available as disclosure of such information could compromise the integrity of these arrangements and affect the security of the individuals protected. It is long established policy not to comment upon the protective security arrangements and their related costs for members of the Royal Family or their residences.’ ”

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and son Archie
Toby Melville/WireImage

Shortly after making their bombshell announcement last week, Meghan returned to Canada to reunite with their 8-month-old son, as Harry remained in England and participated in a family summit with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William on Monday.

The Duchess of Sussex was thought to have participated via phone.

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While Trudeau has yet to publicly weigh in on the matter, he did offer the royal couple a warm welcome last month, after it was confirmed that Harry and Meghan would be “spending private family time in Canada” over the holidays.

Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we’re all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada,” the 47-year-old politician tweeted at the time. “You’re among friends, and always welcome here.”

Meghan previously lived in Toronto, where her former TV show Suits was filmed. The couple also made their first public appearance together in 2017, while attending Harry’s Invictus Games in Toronto.

At the time, the palace said Harry and Meghan’s decision to base themselves in the country over the holidays “reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both.”

“The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family,” the statement continued. “They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”

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