The Canadian government has yet to decide whether to assume the security costs associated with the decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to divide their time between Canada and the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.
Trudeau said in an interview with a Canadian television channel Global that,
“I think that is part of the reflection that… needs to be had, and there are discussions going on. We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be, where the dispositions are and those are decisions for them.”
Harry and Meghan caught the world off guard last week when they announced their intention to step back from front line royal duties.
According to Trudeau, Canadians are “very supportive” of the royal couple living in Canada, but there are still “a lot of discussions to be held.”
The Canadian finance minister, Bill Morneau, who was interviewed earlier Monday about the British press reports, said that Trudeau had assured Queen Elizabeth II that Canada would cover the security costs of Harry and Meghan.
“We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role,” Morneau said.
British press had reported Canada would contribute $650,000 (500,000 pounds) per year.
Canadian media have estimated that protecting the royal couple and their baby son Archie would cost about $1.3 million (Can$1.7 million) per year.
Canadian taxpayers have traditionally contributed towards security costs when members of the Royal Family visit the country.
Prince Harry and Meghan, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have stated that their official plan is to continue “full support” to the Queen and to honor their duties to the Commonwealth and their patronage.
But they want to make 2020 a transition year to fulfill their new role and launch their new Sussex Royal charitable organization and seek to raise their own sources of income.
On Monday, Queen Elizabeth II allowed her grandson Harry and Meghan to split their time between Canada and Britain.