The Canadian government that Royal Canadian Mounted Police were provided to act as security to the couple and their 9-month-old son Archie since November

By Stephanie Petit and Simon Perry
February 27, 2020 02:38 PM
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Canada plans to stop providing security to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

The Canadian government confirmed to CBC News that Royal Canadian Mounted Police were provided to act as security to the couple and their 9-month-old son Archie since November. But once Meghan and Harry officially step down as senior members of the royal family on March 31, as per their agreement with Queen Elizabeth, the arrangement will change.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to relocate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances,” the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement to CBC News. “The RCMP has been engaged with officials in the U.K. from the very beginning regarding security considerations.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England
Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty

“As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as-needed basis,” the statement continued. “At the request of the Metropolitan Police, the RCMP has been providing assistance to the Met since the arrival of the Duke and Duchess to Canada intermittently since November 2019. The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status.”

Meghan and harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Shutterstock

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.

However, Meghan, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, addressed the concern of their security costs on their website, along with other details of their transition.

“It is agreed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son,” they said. “This is based on The Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years. No further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Archie
| Credit: Toby Melville/WireImage

According to a report from the Evening Standard, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau privately assured the Queen that Canada will help pay for their security, although Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau went 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, 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.”

Queen Elizabeth, Meghan, Harry
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

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Prince Harry returned to the U.K. on Tuesday ahead of an event in support of his environmentally conscious travel initiative Travalyst in Edinburgh, Scotland. Meghan will join him soon, with several outings planned for the first week of March for both, ending with a reunion with the royal family at Commonwealth Day services on March 9.