President Donald Trump unleashed his Sunday volley of tweets with a 3 p.m. showstopper. The U.S. will not pay to protect the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen and the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada,” Trump said. “Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!”
They reportedly flew by private jet from Canada to Los Angeles before the border between the two countries closed because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Agence France Press reported.
In January Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, said the country would ensure that the couple and their baby son Archie were protected while they were in the country.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect us to pay for everything the way we do for a royal visit,” Aaron Wudrick, director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, told The Daily Telegraph.
“If they’re going to make Canada a second home, a good step in the right direction would be to pay for at least part of it, and not rely on taxpayers to fund their entire lifestyle.”
The high-profile couple — he is a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and she was a star of the TV show “Suits” — have quietly moved out of their home on Vancouver Island to Los Angeles, according to Harper’s Bazaar US.
Their security in Canada had been supplied by British security guards and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the hefty price has been covered partially by British taxpayers. The question of who should foot the bill going forward has been up in the air since the pair decided to step back from royal duties in January.
According to the U.K. Press Association, a spokeswoman for the Sussexes said they don’t plan to ask the U.S. government for resources and have “privately funded security arrangements” in place.
Even though the official comment should quell any furor whipped up by Trump’s intervention, the episode highlights the potential difficulties ahead for the so-called special relationship between the U.S. and Britain. With the U.K. out of the European Union and Trump pursuing an America First policy, that relationship has been repeatedly tested this year.
As for the Sussexes, they’re set to command significant earning power in their new lives. Harry has the potential for six-figure speaking fees, and Meghan is moving back into the entertainment business.
Disney Corp. announced Thursday that a documentary narrated by Meghan called “Elephant” will debut April 3 on Disney+. It’s her first public endeavour since stepping back from royal duties.
Harry, 35, has a personal fortune estimated at 30 million pounds, thanks to his share of his mother’s estate and his great-grandmother’s legacy, the Times of London reported.