Meghan Markle and Harry: How Queen decided on a ‘hard Megxit’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have set up a new life for themselves in California, US, which is Meghan’s home state. Their tumultuous exit from the Royal Family’s frontline drew attention from around the world — especially when it was announced they intended to spend the majority of their time in North America from March onwards. It was assumed they would set up camp in Canada after spending their extended break there from November last year.
This prompted an international debate over who would pay for the former royals’ security.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were intermittently guarding the couple during those five months — reports revealed this cost approximately £30,000 for just half of their stay.
Once they ended royal duties and were no longer recognised as international protected persons, the protection ceased.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wanted to avoid taking on the unpopular financial burden as only one in five Canadians thought it was an appropriate use of tax money, according to polls.
Then, shortly before lockdown measures closed most international borders, the couple secretly hightailed it across to the western coast of the US with their one-year-old son Archie.
President Donald Trump was quick to tweet that he had no intention of supporting their security bill through US tax money either as soon as he learned of their arrival.
Jeremy Clarkson, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Harry and Meghan have now settled in California, pictured in their new home earlier this year
However, the Sussexes said they had their own security — it was later found to have been funded by Prince Charles, at an estimated cost of £4million per year.
During the midst of this debate, TV presenter and columnist Jeremy Clarkson pointed out that the couple should have been more secretive about their security.
He speculated: “Wherever they go, the couple will be accompanied by a highly visible squad of men with curliewurlie earpieces who will keep the sleeves of their expensive suits fully informed about what’s going on at all times.
“This will make the prince and princess feel very important.”
He added: “Of course, Harry and his wife are close family members of the Queen, but I’ll be honest: I’m not sure they need protection.”
He claimed that as sixth in line to the throne, Harry would not be a target.
Jeremy pointed out that Princess Anne — the Queen’s only daughter — was threatened by a kidnapper in 1974 as they drove back from a charity event.
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During the Megxit negotiations with the Queen and senior royals, the Sussexes agreed to spend most of their time in North America
The royal’s security officer, Inspector James Beaton, jumped into action and tried to fire.
Yet, as Jeremy explained: “He had all the training and all the reflexes, but, come the moment, he was shot by the assailant and then his gun jammed.”
Anne’s chauffeur and a nearby journalist tried to protect her, too, but it was not until a passing pedestrian and policeman intervened that the criminal was apprehended.
Jeremy also pointed out the now famous story of Michael Fagan, who broke into the Queen’s bedroom in Buckingham Palace — as retold in the most recent season of The Crown, the Netflix drama about the Royal Family.
Fagan broke into the main royal residence on two separate occasions, and even got into the Queen’s private apartment, leading to a police report on the competency of the protection officers on duty at the time.
Jeremy claimed: “[Security] is the kind of thing that attracts attention, which I guess is what these people want.
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Harry holding Archie at the end of last year, in Canada
Meghan and Harry claimed they needed security as they are both still royals
“If you don’t want attention, you should just go out by yourself with no security at all.
“It’ll be interesting to see which way the princess jumps.”
The couple are thought to have stopped receiving an allowance from Charles after securing two extensive deals with Netflix and Spotify in the last few months.
It can be assumed they may now be paying for their own security detail, especially since they have bought a sprawling mansion in Santa Barbara in recent months, too.
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Meghan and Harry during one of their royal engagements in 2019
Yet, the now defunct Sussex Royal website reads: “It is agreed that the Duke and Duchess will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son.
“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.”