LONDON – President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the U.S. government will not pay for Prince Harry and Meghan’s security if the royal couple move to Los Angeles as reported.
A spokeswoman for the royal couple said the family had not asked for help.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no plans to ask the U.S. government for security resources. Privately funded security arrangements have been made,” the spokeswoman said.
U.S. and British news media have reported that Harry and Meghan fled Canada this month to take up residence in Los Angeles. The Sussexes have not confirmed the move.
The couple will officially step down from their roles as “senior working royals” on Tuesday, relinquishing patronages of charities and titles. They will no longer be referred to as His or Her Royal Highness, and they have agreed, at the palace’s insistence, to stop using their SussexRoyal brand.
Who will underwrite the 24/7 security for Harry and Meghan after they withdraw from full-time work in service of the queen has been a hot topic in the British press.
Trump tweeted he was “a great friend and admirer of the Queen and the United Kingdom,” but added: “They must pay!”
The Daily Mail splashed the president’s edict on its front page on Monday, under the headline: “TRUMP: WE WON’T PAY FOR MEGXIT!”
The president’s afternoon tweet came as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus and New York City warned that it was running low of medical supplies. California reported 5,565 confirmed cases and 121 deaths by Sunday evening.
Trump’s tweet followed others about the high TV ratings his press briefings on the coronavirus have garnered, matching viewership of the season finale of “The Bachelor.”
Harry, Meghan and their baby, Archie, have spent most of the year in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. The government of Canada, a member of the Commonwealth, has said it will not foot the bill for the royal couple’s protection.
The Sun tabloid in Britain reported that the couple had “fled” Canada by private jet.
“Harry and Meghan have left Canada now for good. The borders were closing and flights were stopping. They had to get out,” the newspaper reported.
“But this move was planned for some time. They realized Canada would not work out for various reasons and they want to be based in the Los Angeles area,” the Sun wrote. “They have a big support network there. It’s where their new team of Hollywood agents and PRs and business managers are based. Meghan has lots of friends there and, of course, her mum Doria.”
Meghan and Harry have never said, exactly, why they wanted to leave Britain, but strongly suggested it was the country’s intrusive tabloids that had made their life difficult. Moving to Los Angeles from Vancouver might not give them the peace and quiet that Harry has said they need.
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The Washington Post’s Karla Adam in London and Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.