The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will pay towards their own security if they are commercially successful, in a model echoing Tony Blair’s own arrangements.
The couple are offering a contribution towards their security bill, currently funded by taxpayers, after they complete their transition from working Royals.
A well-placed source said the couple planned to reimburse the taxpayer for security provided on private business engagements with no Royal connection.
The source said the payment model would be similar to one that was put in place for Mr Blair, who has earned millions of pounds travelling the world brokering a variety of deals.
“Tony Blair reimburses at least part of his security costs on commercial trips,” said a source, “There is an arrangement for that in place. Harry and Meghan intend to do the same for private trips.”
Their ability to pay towards their security will depend on their commercial success. The couple intend to embark on television production deals - the Duchess was previously an actress on the US television legal drama Suits. Netflix, the streaming service, has expressed an interest in signing up the Duke and Duchess.
The couple are keen to make documentaries about their passions that include wildlife conservation, environmental issues and female empowerment.
A separate source confirmed that there “are some occasions” when Mr Blair’s office contributes to the costs of his security. The level of security needed for Prince Harry and his wife and their child Archie will be decided by the Royal VIP Executive Committee and is based on an assessment of the level of threat, risks and vulnerability to assassination attempts.
The couple’s decision to live mainly in north America and become financially independent has caused a row over their security and who pays for it. Security sources have suggested the annual cost of round-the-clock protection in Canada, where they are currently living, is at least £1.5 million.
It has been reported that at least six Royal protection officers from the Metropolitan Police are currently overseeing their security at their rented home on Vancouver Island but the telegraph understands that the bulk of their security detail will, in the future, be provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
British officers have no power to operate in Canada in the long-term and nor would they be allowed to carry guns. The cost of the security is likely to be split between the British and Canadian taxpayers but no decisions on that have yet been taken.
By Wednesday, more than 80,000 Canadians had signed a petition demanding that the Duke and Duchess foot the bill for their security detail while they are in the country.
The petition was started by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation while Laurel Collins, who is the MP for Victoria, where the Duke and Duchess are staying, said that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for the Sussexes security costs. Only the Queen and Prime Minister are guaranteed full time protection but former prime ministers like Mr Blair are also entitled to personal security along with other Royals.
Prince Harry, having served in the British Army on two tours of Afghanistan, remains at risk and is “entitled to proper protection whatever he is doing,” according to a former senior police officer familiar with VIP protection duties.