FIEL – Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle pose for photographers during a photocall in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London Monday Nov. 27, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Dunham

FIEL – Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle pose for photographers during a photocall in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London Monday Nov. 27, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Dunham

Policing costs for Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s B.C. stay topped $50K: taxpayers group

RCMP covered security costs for the couple while they were acting Royals

Policing and security costs for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex topped $50,000 during two-month stint in B.C., according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The federation, which obtained the information through an Access to Information request that it released Monday (June 15), found that RCMP security costs for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hit $56,384.52.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s office has previously acknowledged that they helped the U.K’s Metropolitan Police provide security for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex intermittently since their arrival in November. This protection stopped in January when they stepped back from their royal duties, and were no longer considered “internationally protected persons.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan to ‘step back’ as senior UK royals

The royal couple, and their son Archie, arrived on Vancouver Island in mid-November, the documents showed. The family took up residence in Sidney, near Victoria, and remained under RCMP protection until mid-January,.

“More than $50,000 is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider the fact that this is taxpayers’ money covering bills for one of the most famous and wealthy couples in the world,” said Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Had the government not cut them off and had Meghan and Harry stayed in Canada, the bill could have easily turned into millions.”

An email sent Jan. 10, 2020, showed RCMP were worried about the perception of Canadians paying for the Duke and Duchess’ stay.

“Media is on this like a hot potato … This has a potential to cost us huge!” a partially redacted RCMP email read.

The $56,384 figure includes overtime and shift differentials, travel expenditures and other operating expenses, but does not include regular salaries and costs related to supporting units. Black Press Media has reached out to the RCMP for further comment

READ MORE: Royals chose ideal spot to ponder future, North Saanich mayor says

READ MORE: RCMP to stop providing security for Prince Harry and Meghan


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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