But why would Trump, given everything going on around the world right now, make a point of saying so?
‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no plans to ask the U.S. Government for security resources,’ a Sussex spokesman set yesterday. ‘Privately funded security arrangements have been made.’
Today the palace refused to comment about whether this meant UK taxpayers would no longer have to contribute towards any future bill.
The Sussexes’ quick fire reply came hours after Mr Trump said the couple should foot the bill for their bodyguards, now they have moved across the border to LA from Vancouver where Canadian police helped with security.
Trump said: ‘I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!’
The bill for their security, which includes a roster of nine highly skilled British officers shuttling between the UK and US, is estimated to be as much as £8 million a year and is covered by British taxpayers through the Metropolitan Police budget. They also received support from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Royal sources had said that if Harry and Meghan wanted help with security from the Secret Service in the US, which protects international diplomats, a request would have to be made to the State Department.
Ultimately the decision would have rested with Trump, and he made clear today that the US taxpayer would not help fund the couple’s security.
It is not known what the ‘private’ security arrangements Meghan and Harry claim to have made are.
It emerged last week that the duke, 35, and duchess, 38, had moved to California before the border with Canada closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meghan’s mother Doria lives in Los Angeles, and the former actress grew up there. The couple took a private jet with their son Archie, ten months, just before non-essential travel between Canada and the US was suspended.
Trump has the final say over whether the couple can have US-funded diplomatic protection in the US, because Harry will no longer be classed as an ‘international protected person’ when he completes the final phase of Megxit next week, according to a royal source.
Their decision to move to California came shortly after the Canadian authorities said they would refuse to contribute to the cost of protecting them with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after March 31.
They have been clear from the beginning that they wish to ‘stand on their own feet’ and there are already lucrative contracts in the pipeline, including one with the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Norman Baker, former Home Office Minister and author of And What Do You Do?: What The Royal Family Don’t Want You To Know, told the Mail on Sunday yesterday: ‘They’re going to Los Angeles in order to make packets of money. There will be waterfalls of dollars cascading their way. And they’re now private citizens. Why should we pay for them?
‘We can’t have a situation in which members of the Royal Family can choose to live anywhere in the world, however dangerous, and expect us to pay. The dangers in LA are much more significant than in the backwoods of Windsor.’