The Canadian government confirmed to CBC News that Royal Canadian Mounted Police were provided to act as security to the couple and their 9-month-old son Archie since November. But once Meghan and Harry officially step down as senior members of the royal family on March 31, as per their agreement with Queen Elizabeth, the arrangement will change.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to relocate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances,” the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement to CBC News. “The RCMP has been engaged with officials in the U.K. from the very beginning regarding security considerations.”
“As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as-needed basis,” the statement continued. “At the request of the Metropolitan Police, the RCMP has been providing assistance to the Met since the arrival of the Duke and Duchess to Canada intermittently since November 2019. The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status.”
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.
“It is agreed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son,” they said. “This is based on The Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years. No further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons.”
According to a report from the Evening Standard, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau privately assured the Queen that Canada will help pay for their security, although Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau went on the record as saying no final decision has been made.
“No, we haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” Morneau told reporters, according to CBC News. “We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role. We have not had any discussions on that subject at this time.”
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Prince Harry returned to the U.K. on Tuesday ahead of an event in support of his environmentally conscious travel initiative Travalyst in Edinburgh, Scotland. Meghan will join him soon, with several outings planned for the first week of March for both, ending with a reunion with the royal family at Commonwealth Day services on March 9.