UK's Prince Harry, wife Meghan, do not need U.S. help for security costs, spokeswoman says

By David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: Annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, have no plans to ask the U.S. government for help with security costs, the couple said in a statement on Sunday in response to a tweet from President Donald Trump that the United States would not pay for their protection.

In January, the couple said they would step away from their royal duties and according to media reports, recently relocated to Los Angeles.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump tweeted: "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 couple said later in a statement: "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 duchess, Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry, the grandson of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in 2018, criticized Trump during his 2016 election campaign as misogynistic and divisive.

Last year, Trump, on being told of Meghan’s criticism, said: "I didn’t know that. What can I say? I didn’t know that she was nasty." But he also wished her well in her new life as a British royal.

The couple stunned the royal family in early January with an announcement they would be stepping down from their roles as senior royals, in order to gain freedom from the intense media scrutiny that has followed them for several years.

They had been living for several months with their son, Archie, on Vancouver Island in Canada.

Britain's Sun newspaper reported last week that the couple took a private flight to Los Angeles, but did not say when. Earlier this month, the United States and Canada agreed to close their border to non-essential travel at land crossings to ease the strain on health systems caused by the coronavirus.

Meghan Markle was raised in the Los Angeles area and her mother, Doria, still lives there. Walt Disney Co said last week that Meghan had narrated a nature documentary that will be released on its Disney+ streaming platform on Friday.

Last month, Canada said it would no longer provide security once the couple were no longer working members of the British royal family.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police had been assisting London’s Metropolitan Police with security for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex "intermittently" since November, when the couple began a six-week vacation in Canada, Reuters reported in February.





(Reporting by David Shepardson and Doina Chiacu; Additional reporting by Michael Holden in London; Editing by Peter Cooney)