Harry and Meghan face pressure to pay their £8million security bill
Harry and Meghan face mounting pressure to pay their £8million taxpayer-funded security bill as a former Home Office minister warns their Los Angeles move presents further dangers
- Harry and Meghan will now cease to be working Royals from Wednesday
- They have moved from Vancouver, Canada to Los Angeles (Meghan’s home city)
- The couple were reportedly smitten by Petra Manor once home to Mel Gibson
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Meghan and Harry remain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Harry will keep his position as sixth in line to the throne, but they are banned from using their HRH titles for commercial work
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are under increasing pressure to pay their own multi-million pound security bill as they prepare to finally cut their working ties with the Royal Family this week.
From Wednesday, with the agreement of the Queen, Harry and Meghan will cease to be working Royals and will not be able to use their HRH titles as they seek to become ‘financially independent’.
And now they have moved from their bolthole in Vancouver, Canada, to base themselves and their ten-month-old son Archie permanently in Meghan’s home city of Los Angeles – despite the spread of the coronavirus, which has seen LA become a pandemic hotspot.
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.
A poll for Good Morning Britain show suggested that more than 90 per cent of the public believed Harry and Meghan should foot the bill themselves – and that was before the couple jetted to LA.
The Sussexes 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, said: ‘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?
They were reportedly smitten by Petra Manor, a 12,249-sq ft mansion in Malibu’s Serra Retreat community, pictured above
‘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.’
Meghan raised eyebrows at the palace last week when a Disney trailer was released for an elephant documentary for which she had provided the voiceover.
The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this year that Harry and Meghan met Bob Igor, head of Disney, at the premiere of The Lion King, telling him that Meghan was available for voiceovers and that they were ‘there to pitch’ despite attending the function on official duties.
This week Meghan and Harry are expected to announce details of a new non-profit organisation which will see them abandon the Royal Foundation model they set up when they first got married.
Petra Manor (pictured above inside) was previously home to Mel Gibson, and has been rented by Kylie Jenner for £11,000 a night
They are also yet to confirm whether they have refunded the £2.4 million spent on the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, their five-bedroom home on the Windsor estate.
It emerged yesterday that Meghan and Harry have hired Canadian PR guru Catherine St Laurent, who previously worked for Microsoft billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates.
In an email announcing her new role, St Laurent wrote: ‘Beginning next week I will be acting as Chief of Staff and Executive Director of the new non-profit enterprise for Meghan M and Harry. They are embarking on a new chapter themselves and I am thrilled to be able to play a supporting role in realising their vision and enabling them to achieve impact on the issues that matter most to them.’
Meghan and Harry remain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Harry will keep his position as sixth in line to the throne, but they are banned from using their HRH titles for commercial work.
Reports in the US said they were looking for a home in a gated community. Beverly Hills estate agent Tracy Tutor claims the couple’s search for a home has been focused on Malibu, and they previously visited at least half a dozen properties in the millionaire’s playground, most priced around £15 million.
They were reportedly smitten by Petra Manor, a 12,249-sq ft mansion in Malibu’s Serra Retreat community. It was previously home to Mel Gibson, and has been rented by Kylie Jenner for £11,000 a night.
They are also yet to confirm whether they have refunded the £2.4 million spent on the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, above, their five-bedroom home on the Windsor estate
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