Trudeau says ‘much to be discussed’ on costs of Harry and Meghan living in Canada

Chiara Giordano
Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, 8 January 2020: Blair Gable/Reuters

Canada’s prime minister has said there is still much to be discussed about the costs of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moving to the country.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plans to step back from their roles as senior royals, become financially independent and live part of the year in North America.

However, questions have been raised over who would foot the round-the-clock security bill for the couple and their eight-month-old son.

When asked whether Canadian taxpayers would have to fork out, the prime minister Justin Trudeau said there are “still lots of discussions to have”.

He told Global News: “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, what the dispositions are and those are decisions for them.

“I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have.”

Mr Trudeau said the federal Canadian government had not been involved “up until this point” about what the couple’s move to the country would involve.

He added: “There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry pictured during the Trooping of the Colour to mark the Queen’s birthday, 8 June, 2019. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty)

“We are obviously supportive of their reflections but have responsibilities in that as well.”

Harry and Meghan spent a six-week holiday at a waterfront mansion on Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia over the festive period.

The duchess lived and worked in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, during her time starring in popular US drama Suits, and knows the country well having lived there for seven years.

The Queen called Harry, his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles to a crisis meeting on Monday at her private Sandringham estate in Norfolk to discuss the couple’s future roles.

It came after Harry and Meghan released a bombshell statement outlining their plans, without telling the monarch or any other senior royals first.

The Queen released a statement after the meeting, in which she gave her backing to the couple’s new independent life away from full-time royal duties and revealed they would begin a transition period splitting their time between the UK and Canada.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the Queen said.

“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.”

In his first sit-down interview of 2020, prime minister Boris Johnson said he was “absolutely confident” the royal family could resolve the crisis.

He said: “My view on this is very straightforward: I am a massive fan, like most of our viewers, of the Queen and the royal family as a fantastic asset for our country.

“I’m absolutely confident that they are going to sort this out.”

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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