The Canadian government has confirmed it will cease protecting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “in the coming weeks”.
The reason for the development was based on “change in status” as a result of the couple’s decision to step away from royal duties and rescind their royal status.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie have been protected “intermittently since November 2019” by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RMCP).
According to the RMCP, the force had an “obligation” to protect the Sussexes because they are recognised as Internationally Protected Persons.
However, that protection is set to end in the coming weeks when the couple’s duties as senior members of the royal family officially conclude from 31 March.
“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,” Canada’s Office of the Minister of Public Safety said.
“The RMCP has been engaged with officials in the UK from the very beginning regarding security considerations. As the duke and duchess are currently recognised as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as needed basis.
“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.”
Earlier this month, after the duke and duchess confirmed they would formally stand down as senior members of the royal family at the end of March, they revealed how they plan on transitioning away from royal life in an update shared to their website.
According to the plan outlined, it was “agreed” that the duke and duchess “will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son”. The decision was based on “the duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into the royal family, his military service, the duchess’s own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years”.
The couple declined to share further details regarding their security once they are no longer active members of the royal family, citing “safety reasons”.
The announcement regarding the RCMP’s protection of Meghan and Prince Harry moving forward comes after concerns were raised over who would be paying for the couple’s security in Canada.
In January, thousands of Canadians signed a petition demanding that the couple pay their own security costs after estimates placed their protection at a cost of $10m to $30m a year.