The RCMP spent $56,384 on security for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their short-lived residence in Canada.
According to access to information documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) displaying records from Nov. 18 2019 to Jan. 19 2020, RCMP officials worried about security for the couple “costing us huge.”
“More than $50,000 is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider the fact that this is taxpayers’ money covering bills for one of the most famous and wealthy couples in the world,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick.
“Had the government not cut them off and had Meghan and Harry stayed in Canada, the bill could have easily turned into millions.”
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced in February that Canadians would stop paying for the family’s security costs in the “coming weeks.”
The total value reported on by CTF does not include the payment RCMP officers received in terms of salaries but only included money spent on overtime, travel, meals and accommodations.
RCMP National Division commanding officer Bernadine Chapman wrote in an email dated Jan. 10, 2020, “Media is on this like a hot potato…so lots of coverage of the potential of the royals to spend half their time in Canada now, as an independent couple. Media spin is about the cost to Canadians.”
“We are having a greater conversation next week on the go forward on this. This has a potential to cost us huge!”
When the couple announced they would be abandoning their royal duties to lead more “progressive” lives in Canada, Canadians overwhelmingly opposed paying for the pair’s security costs.
According to an Angus Reid Institute poll from January 2020, 73% of Canadians said that taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the security bill.
The couple has since relocated to Los Angeles.