Who pays for royal security? How protection for the royals is funded - and why Meghan and Harry were ‘cut off’

Prince Andrew is still offered royal protection despite having stepped back from his duties amid the Jeffrey Epstein scandal

Harry and Meghan are no longer entitled to security, but the Queen funds security for Prince Andrew (Picture: Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan are no longer entitled to security, but the Queen funds security for Prince Andrew (Picture: Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan are no longer entitled to security, but the Queen funds security for Prince Andrew (Picture: Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out about how their family was stripped of royal security after moving stateside.

Speaking to US talk show host Oprah Winfrey in a much-anticipated intimate interview, which aired in the UK on 8 March, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made several shocking revelations.

As well as alleging that their son Archie was the subject of racist remarks by an unnamed royal, the couple claimed they were left vulnerable and without protection from the Royal Family when they moved to Canada then the US, just as Covid lockdowns were being enforced.

However, viewers of the interview have questioned why Prince Andrew is still entitled to security despite having stepped back from royal duties as a result of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

So, who pays for royal security, why are Meghan and Harry no longer entitled to it, and why is Prince Andrew still protected? This is what we know.

Why has Prince Harry been stripped of royal security?

In the interview with Oprah, Prince Harry said he had been “cut off financially” from his family since early 2020, at which point any state funded security was also pulled.

This is because in January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced that they would be moving to the US and would take a step back from being leading members of the royal family, continuing to carry out “some duties”.

Harry had always been granted royal security, as he was born a member of the royal family. Meghan had also received security until she stepped back from royal duties. The couple cited this “change in status” as the reason for being left unprotected.

Harry told Oprah he asked his family to review whether the threat to his safety had lessened as a result of his stepping back.

According to Harry, the family decided the threat had not dropped but that in any case, he was still not to receive any further security.

The couple also told how they were informed by the royal institution that their child, Archie, would not receive security when he was born.

Harry said this had shocked him and that he and the Duchess were concerned over the safety of Archie.

Who pays for Harry and Meghan’s protection now?

In the immediate aftermath of being cut off from royal protection, Harry and Meghan were flown to LA by Hollywood director, Tyler Perry.

Perry offered them a house to live in and use of his own personal security, as the pair had been left in Canada with no protection and the UK media had published their exact whereabouts.

Around three months after Perry stepped in to provide support, the couple moved to a bought property in Montecito, California.

Harry stated he has since managed to support his family by spending some of the inheritance his mother had left him when she died in 1997. The pair now fund their own security.

They have just signed a major deal with Netflix, thought to be worth over £150 million.

Harry has also paid back the £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money used to renovate Frogmore Cottage, with a spokesperson confirming the repayment was made possible due to the Netflix deal.

Their deal with Spotify was also signed for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be worth around £18 million.

Why was Archie never entitled to security?

There are no written rules about which members of the royals can use state-provided security.

However, Meghan and Harry have suggested that Archie’s lack of security from the monarchy was related to him not having a royal title.

Robert Jobson, an award-winning royal author said: "According to a 1917 Letters of Patent issued by King George V, the title of HRH Prince or Princess is passed to ‘The grandchildren of the sons of any such sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes of this realm.

“Both Harry and Meghan know this. Archie, on the other hand, did not qualify to become a prince automatically. In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II issued a Letters Patent to expand on a previous decree that granted such a title only to the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales."

Until 2011 Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, had received publicly paid protection to the tune of around £500,000 per year.

This then changed after a Scotland Yard review of security for the Royal Family and they have since provided their own, and both princesses and their husbands make their own incomes.

Do other non-leading royals get protection?

The Royal and VIP Executive Committee handles the protection and security needs of essential public figures and royals who have round-the-clock protection funded primarily by the state.

Prince Andrew is still entitled to security as he is the son of the reigning monarch, despite having stepped back from royal duties due to his involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

In January 2020, there were reports that the Metropolitan Police recommended in Andrew's security detail be reduced due to his lower workload. The Queen has continued to fund his security via the ‘privy purse’ - her own private funds.

The Queen and Prince Philip’s other children, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, also receive state security when carrying out official duties but not when running day-to-day errands.

Princess Anne also opted not to give her children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, any titles. As non-working royals, they also do not receive state-funded protection.

Who pays for royal security?

Royals receive security for public duties and some of them are also protected around the clock by publicly funded security - namely The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Kate and their three children.

This security is paid for by the UK government’s Treasury. The Treasury does not disclose the agreement regarding how much this costs or who benefits most from the agreement.

The HM Treasury website states: “No breakdown of security costs is available as disclosure of such information could compromise the integrity of these arrangements and affect the security of the individuals protected.

“It is long established policy not to comment upon the protective security arrangements and their related costs for members of the Royal Family or their residences.”

Royals who do not have a leading role will not be granted 24/7 security, therefore any security outwith their royal duties must be privately funded.