Sussexes reveal security plans as they wave goodbye to royal life

WITH just hours remaining as members of the Royal family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were forced to reveal their private security arrangements after increasing criticism that it should not come at the cost of the taxpayer.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, after the announcement of their engagement in 2017. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Harry and Meghan have now officially stepped down as royals and are starting a new life in Los Angeles - where the Duchess was born and grew up and her mother Doria Ragland still lives.

But in the final hours of royal life, they were today forced to disclose they had put in place “privately funded security arrangements” for their move to the US after President Donald Trump said his country would not pay for their protection.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They also came under criticism from former Home Office minister Norman Baker, who said that as “celebrities”, not members of the monarchy, they should fund their own arrangements.

Mr Baker, who has written the book And What Do You Do? about the monarchy, said: “If they want to live in Hollywood, or wherever it is, that’s up to them but they should bear the costs of security themselves. You wouldn’t expect the British taxpayer to pay for Posh and Becks or Elton John and David Furnish so why should they pay for Harry and Meghan.”

From today, the monarch’s grandson and his wife will no longer use their HRH styles as they pursue their new life of personal and financial freedom in America.

The duke and duchess’ desire to earn money while remaining members of the monarchy was unworkable and so they chose to leave and become financially independent.

But it is not known where the private funds to pay for their security will come from, whether their own money, financial support from the Prince of Wales or another source.

Meanwhile, the pair have been dubbed as “pretty irrelevant” by royal author Penny Junor, as the royal family attempted to lead the nation through the health crisis.

A spokeswoman for the Sussexes took the unusual step of commenting about their protection plans after Mr Trump said in a tweet on Sunday: “Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!”

In response their spokeswoman said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no plans to ask the US government for security resources. Privately-funded security arrangements have been made.”

The couple are now said to be living in lockdown close to Hollywood in accordance with Covid-19 containment measures.

The duke and duchess have already forged ahead with plans to create their new public roles.

It is said they want to make a change in the “armed forces arena” and will make the military central to their charitable work. Reports have claimed issues such as medical care and homelessness for veterans and injured service personnel, both in the UK and the United States, are to be a focus of their new charitable organisation likely to be launched in the coming weeks.

The couple are also expected to announce a new name for their Sussexroyal brand, used on their popular Instagram account, in the next few days.