In a tweet on Sunday, Donald Trump said the US will not pay for Harry and Meghan’s security protection
The President said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would have to pay for their own security costs once they settle in Los Angeles.
The Mail Online reports: Trump has the final say over whether the couple can have diplomatic protection in the US, because Harry will no longer be classed as an ‘international protected person’ when he completes the final phase of Megxit next week, according to a royal source.
The president’s announcement that he will not pay for their security protection renews questions about who will foot the bill for their new Hollywood lifestyles.
Harry and Meghan caused quite a stir earlier this year when they made the shock announcement that they were quitting Royal life and leaving the UK.
The Megxit process will finally be complete on Tuesday when the couple will stand down as senior Royals.
A royal source said the pair’s stepping down removes any obligation on the US government to pay for their security.
The UK and US have a long standing reciprocal agreement when it comes to bodyguards protecting diplomats and members of the Royal family.
President Trump’s Secret Service agents would have been allowed to carry their weapons on his state visit and likewise bodyguards for the Queen and Prince Charles when they made official trips to the US.
But Harry’s exit from the Royal family means he is no longer considered an ‘international protected person’ and so these rules don’t apply.
The couple would have had to rely on President Trump to make an exception to cover the costs, the source said.
‘It will be down to Harry or his Met Police protection officers to ask for help,’ they said.
‘There is a reciprocal agreement between the US that allows protection officers to carry their weapons. But Harry is no longer a serving royal and that is why his protection in Canada from the Mounties was withdrawn.
‘Someone is going to have to ask the State Department, and ultimately the decision rests with Donald Trump, for assistance. Harry cannot live in the US without armed protection.’
Given Meghan’s criticism of the US leader – and snubbing him at a Buckingham Palace banquet – it’s not surprising that Trump doesn’t feel so generous to the pair.
Harry has also been disparaging of Trump saying he has ‘blood on his hands’ during a prank telephone call when he was fooled into thinking he was talking to climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Under US law only citizens and Permanent Residents, or Green Card holders, are eligible to own a firearm.
Private security guards, who are often ex-military or law enforcement officers, are permitted to be armed.
However Royal experts do not believe Harry will turn to a private security firm.