A pretty penny! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could potentially pay high fees out of their own pocket for top-tier security in the UK, says royal expert Richard Aish.
“It is very difficult to quantify exactly that,” said the director of operations of Mobius International Security. We Weekly exclusively earlier this month. “The cost of a personal protection officer [Metropolitan Police] has been estimated at around £100,000 a year.
The security expert noted that the cost could “dramatically” fluctuate “over time” with the addition of other expenses including flights and overseas accommodation. The couple’s children – son Archie, 2, and daughter Lilibet, 7 months – are also included in the fee.
“What may seem like a wish on paper is much more in reality, and the costs can certainly be quite enormous,” Aitch said. We.
Harry, 36, released a statement earlier this month regarding his fight to ensure adequate protection for his family in his home country following his 2020 royal discharge and subsequent move to California. He and the Suits alum, 40, funded their own security team after moving to North America.
“This security cannot duplicate the police protection needed in the UK,” the statement added. “Without such protection, Prince Harry and his family cannot return home.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in January 2020 that they intended to step back from their senior royal duties. According to his statement, Harry offered to personally pay British security for his family during conversations with Queen Elizabeth II and other senior royals – but failed to gain approval.
“The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and country where he wants his wife and children to be safe,” the statement concluded. “With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk. Prince Harry hopes his petition – after nearly two years of advocacy for safety in the UK – will resolve this situation.
According to Aitch, Harry is a “very difficult” and “unprecedented” situation that will likely require deliberation by a royal committee.
“This committee decides who receives police protection, and if they receive it, what capacity appears,” he said. We. “Their responsibility is to decide on the security of members of parliament, such as the prime minister, foreign minister, interior minister, etc., in addition to members of the royal family.”
Aitch also noted that “not all members of the royal family receive protection” except for senior royals. Harry’s decision to step back from his senior responsibilities complicates the issue of protection.
“At the end of the day, members of the royal family are doing a service to the people. They have loyal duties to undertake, and by virtue of this the UK taxpayer then funds the protection of this service,” Aitch continued. “He has given up his royal duties, he no longer provides a service to the British people, does he? And so in the eyes of the government, the question is why then should the British taxpayer pay and fund their personal security? … And that’s completely understandable.
However, Aitch acknowledged that the potential dangers Harry and his family could face have not changed since stepping away from the royal spotlight.
“The subject of cost should not be focused on whether [or] how he serves the people or not alone. Because he is a senior member of the Royal Family, he is exposed to a wide variety of serious threats, and the risks of these threats have increased since his departure from the Royal Family,” Aitch added. “The fact that he no longer benefits from police protection [means] its risk of threats has certainly increased.
Buckingham Palace has yet to issue an official response to Harry’s statement. Earlier this month, however, the royal expert Kristin Contino Recount We that the Queen, 95, has been put in a difficult situation.
“[It’s] difficult for her, as a grandmother, not to really be able to intervene,” she said. “She is [not] going to oppose the government and say, “Well, you know, you have to keep them safe.” … People can see both sides in this situation.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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