As British royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step back from their Royal duties to lead an independent life in Canada a recent study has revealed that a clear majority of Canadians feel their country does not have to pay for their security. Seventy-seven percent of people surveyed by Nanos Research, for CTV, believe they don’t have to pay for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex because they are not in Canada as representatives of the Queen.
Canada is a parliamentary monarchy and Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning head of state. Only 19 percent of Canadians would not object to their country assuming a share of the security costs.
There has been no official announcement about the question of security for Prince Harry and Meghan, or who will cover the bill, now that they have officially left the royal family. Canadian authorities have only indicated that discussions were taking place.
More than two-thirds of Canadians feel the privacy of the couple and their infant son will be better respected in Canada than it was in Britain. But Harry and Meghan, who live in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, are taking no chances. Last month they issued a legal warning to media over photographs of the duchess out walking her dogs with Archie, their son.
Their lawyers claimed the images were taken without Meghan’s consent, the BBC reported, and the couple was prepared to take legal action. Perhaps more worrying for the couple, in the long run, is that only 32 percent of those surveyed were strongly in favor of maintaining links with the royal family and their country’s status as a constitutional monarchy. Twenty-eight percent said they were only somewhat supported that option.
And 35 percent would be more or less strongly in favor of abolishing links with the British monarchy. The survey was conducted by telephone and online, with a sample of 1,003 Canadians and a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
The “Megxit” crisis began on January 8 when the couple’s plans to seek a “progressive new role” in North America were announced.
“I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option,” Harry said. The couple lost their right to be called “his and her royal highness” (HRH) much as Harry’s late mother Princess Diana did when she divorced Prince Charles in another family drama that upset the Queen in 1996. They further agreed to repay 163;2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million) of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.
“No royal has ever paid back the money,” former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter wrote in The Sun on Sunday. “It is absolutely unprecedented.” But Arbiter said it was the loss of the HRH “royal highness” abbreviation that really made Palace history.
38-year-old Markle admitted on UK television in October that she “really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip.” But she admitted sadly, “That’s not the point of life.” Harry has also talked about still being haunted by his mother’s death in a 1997 car crash involving a chasing pack of paparazzi.
He and Meghan filed a series of lawsuits against UK media outlets in October a step that outraged the tabloids and renewed debates about the royals’ role in public life. One of these involved a UK paper that published fragments of a private letter Meghan had sent her estranged father Thomas Markle after her Windsor wedding to Harry in May 2018.