Keeping Prince Harry and Meghan Markle safe during their visits to Canada apparently comes with a hefty price tag.
According to CBC News, the family’s visits to Canada over a period of less than four years cost taxpayers more than $334,000.
Documents from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police under the Access to Information Act, obtained by the corporation, show taxpayers forked out $182,430 for security-related things whenever Harry visited between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.
He attended the Invictus Games, which he started in 2014, among other events in 2017. Harry and Meghan famously made their first public appearance together at the opening ceremony in Toronto.
This amount doesn’t cover the salaries of RCMP officers but does cover overtime and travel costs, the publication states.
Taxpayers also paid almost $33,000 a month to protect Harry, Meghan, and baby Archie when they headed to Vancouver after announcing they’d be stepping down as senior royals at the start of 2020.
It’s thought their Christmas in Canada that year until February 27 cost the RCMP more than $93,000.
Other costs include $52,978, relating to Harry’s private trip to Toronto in December 2016 and a public trip that May during which he announced the 2017 Invictus Games would he held in the city.
CBC writes, “The RCMP incurred $5,726 in costs to protect the Duke and Duchess of Sussex between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019, and no costs at all from Jan. 1, 2014 to March 31, 2016.”
The couple had their first dates in Toronto while Meghan lived there and filmed “Suits”. However, the RCMP failed to provide an exact breakdown explaining how the $182,430 to protect the Duke of Sussex was spent during 2017 and 2018.
They kept their relationship on the down low at first, so it’s not known just how many trips Harry made to see Meghan, whom he married in May 2018.
CBC claimed Pierre-Yves Borduas, a former deputy commissioner of the RCMP who is now president of PY Safety, suggested RCMP officers would have accompanied British security officers whenever Harry visited Meghan’s house.
Borduas said RCMP’s obligation to provide protection during Harry’s trips to Canada would have ended once he stepped down as a senior royal.
He said of why they offered him protection: “They still have responsibility, because what if something would happen to that very important person in our country?
“The ripple effect… could have a negative reflection on our country and how [seriously] we are taking the security of these types of individuals that are enjoying the hospitality of our country.”
A briefing note previously sent to then-minister of public safety Bill Blair read: “Family members on private visits to Canada are eligible to receive RCMP protective policing services in alignment with the RCMP’s assessment of threat/risk, but this is a reflection of their official status within the Royal Family.
“As per the statement from Buckingham Palace on January 18, 2020, the duke and duchess ‘will no longer use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.'”
ET Canada has contacted Harry’s rep for comment.