Harry and Meghan to pay for their own security

PA

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be footing the bill for their personal protection and not relying on the royal family to pay for bodyguards.

Harry and Meghan officially left the monarchy on Tuesday and have taken on the financial responsibilities for their security, reportedly employing a team of former SAS servicemen to keep them safe.

The couple moved to Los Angeles to start their new life with baby son Archie after they were forced to choose between financial independence or remaining as working members of the royal family.

They opted for the personal and financial freedom they believe working outside the monarchy will give them but are removed from the UK just as the country gears up to deal with the worst of the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokeswoman for the Sussexes said: “Security costs are being personally covered by the couple.”

Harry’s father the Prince of Wales will continue to make private financial contributions to the duke and duchess as they start their new life in the US.

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But it should not be assumed the funds will come from Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall money as private sources are also available to the heir to the throne.

The Sun reported the Sussexes have employed a security firm staffed by former SAS soldiers at a cost of around £400 per operative per day.

Harry and Meghan were forced to disclose they had put in place “privately funded security arrangements” for their move after US President Donald Trump said his country would not pay for their protection.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, the trio are now all living in Los Angeles. Ben Stansall/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, the trio are now all living in Los Angeles. Ben Stansall/PA Wire

The couple recently moved from their exclusive Vancouver Island home to Los Angeles, where Meghan was born and raised, and where her mother Doria Ragland still lives.

They are now said to be living in lockdown close to Hollywood, in accordance with California’s Covid-19 containment measures.

Royal author Penny Junor said the Sussexes risk becoming “pretty irrelevant” as it will be the Queen and other senior royals who will be attempting to lead the nation through the coronavirus crisis.

Harry and Meghan bowed out from the royal family with a heartfelt message about the coronavirus crisis and a vow to work out how they can “best contribute”.

The duke and duchess said in a final Instagram post: “What’s most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic.

“As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute.”

It appears the Covid-19 outbreak has prompted the couple to postpone announcing the new name of their Sussex Royal brand, after the Queen and her senior officials were said to have ordered them to drop the use of the word “royal” because it could have led to accusations they were cashing in on their family status.

A spokeswoman for the couple said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend the next few months focusing on their family and continuing to do what they can, safely and privately, to support and work with their pre-existing charitable commitments while developing their future non-profit organisation.”