Meghan Markle and Prince Harry remove online claim they’re ‘internationally protected people’ entitled to bodyguards – The Sun

MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry have removed a claim on their website that they're "internationally protected people" and entitled to bodyguards around the globe.

Canada has appeared to rein back a pledge to pay Harry and Meghan’s £1 million-a-year security bill should they move there.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is understood to have privately assured The Queen his government would partially fund protection for the couple and son Archie.

But Finance Minister Bill Morneau has warned federal officials have yet to make a decision on the crucial contribution amid fears the nation’s taxpayers would object.

Harry and Meghan want to divide their time between the UK and North America and become financially independent and less reliant on funds from the Sovereign Grant.

Security costs incurred by the royals have previously been covered by the British taxpayer — but they will not be entitled to the funding should they become ex-royals.

The move to delete the claim comes as a sign that security is proving one of the most difficult subjects in negotiations about their future.

The couple's website stated: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security

However, the claim was deleted the next day after questions were raised about the level of government security Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, could expect if they were not performing royal duties, reports The Times.

The legal concept of internationally protected people dates from a 1973 United Nations convention intended to protect diplomats and political leaders.

Scotland Yard is battling to provide the level of security required by the royal family when three generations are engaged in official duties.

The cost of royal security is never disclosed but is known to have risen sharply in recent years.

The Met has been ordered to increase the number of protection officers by a fifth — from 449 to 540 — but has found it “exceptionally difficult” to do so because of a shortage of training courses.

Royal security is now heavily dependent on police overtime and bills for flights and hotels for officers have soared.

The huge cost of keeping the couple safe is at the heart of the Sandringham deal which senior royals and aides began crafting yesterday.

Quizzed about the key security issue, Morneau said: "No, we haven't spent any time thinking about this issue.

"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."


The funding question could leave a huge black hole in the couple’s coffers as they battle to become financially independent.

Sources said Trudeau had "agreed taxpayers in his country should pick up the huge bill for the couple's round-the-clock protection while they are in the country.”

He is further said to to have assured Her Majesty that Harry, Meghan and Archie's safety "will not be jeopardised while they reside there."

But a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office declined to comment on the prospect of Canada paying for the family's protection.

Legal experts believe that if the couple are not carrying out official duties they are not covered by the UN Convention on Internationally Protected Persons.

Jan Wouters, professor of international law at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, said: “Harry and Meghan want to move away from carrying out royal duties and become purely private people.

"Therefore it is highly debatable whether they are legally entitled to the status of internationally protected people.

“International protection will not continue if you withdraw into a purely private life.

"The logical conclusion is that there will have to be a bilateral agreement between Britain and Canada to provide for their security.”

A spokeswoman for the duke and duchess said: “We don’t comment on security matters.”

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