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‘They must pay!’ Harry and Meghan respond as Trump says US won’t pay unroyal security bill

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President Donald Trump responded to reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be moving to the United States by informing them that American taxpayers would not foot the bill for their security.

Amid reports that the royal couple was moving from Vancouver Island to Los Angeles, the president tweeted a terse message to be clear about their future security needs.

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

The Duke and Duchess, who essentially quit the Royal Family in January, have not confirmed reports that they secretly left Canada before the coronavirus pandemic worsened and moved to Markle’s hometown. Trump’s tweet came as California faced increasing cases of the outbreak, with over 6,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 130 deaths as of Monday.

Trump reiterated his admiration of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry’s grandmother, in a tweet before referring to the couple, who will be relinquishing all of their royal titles and duties at the end of the month.

“I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!”

A spokeswoman for the 35-year-old prince and his 38-year-old wife, a former actress, said they were not looking for any U.S. government-funded security.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no plans to ask the U.S. government for security resources. Privately funded security arrangements have been made,” the spokeswoman said.

The couple shocked many when they announced in January that, in an effort to become “financially independent,” they would be stepping away from their royal roles, revealing their wish to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution.”

The couple had moved to Canada on a part-time basis and police there had reportedly helped arrange their security needs.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to re-locate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances,”  the Canadian Office of the Minister of Public Safety said in a statement last month.

“The (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has been engaged with officials in the UK from the very beginning regarding security considerations. As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as needed basis,” the agency added.

But that arrangement will end Tuesday as the couple officially end their royal roles.

“At the request of the Metropolitan Police, the RCMP has been providing assistance to the Met since the arrival of the Duke and Duchess to Canada intermittently since November 2019. The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status,” the Canadian agency said.

Before they married in 2018, Markle had been living in Canada while filming the TV series “Suits,” in which she starred. In Los Angeles, Markle will have the support of her mother, Doria Ragland, and several friends. One person in the couple’s circle of friends told People last month that they were “looking at houses” in Los Angeles.

“They love being in Canada, but they are looking at houses in L.A. too,” the friend said. “They’ll likely have houses in both places.”

Twitter users reacting to Trump’s message about the couple’s security agreed with the view, while many recalled the couple’s remarks about the president.

Frieda Powers

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