Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed taxpayers in his country should pick up the huge bill for the couple’s round-the-clock protection while they are in the country, the Evening Standard has learned.
Mr Trudeau still dealing with the fall-out from the downing of a Ukrainian aircraft by the Iranian military which killed 57 Canadians — has privately assured the Queen that Harry, Meghan and Archie’s safety will not be jeopardised while they reside there.
But it is feared that the move to pay about half the estimated £1 million annual bill could lead to a “furious” backlash in the country and threatens to damage the status of the monarchy there.
A poll conducted in August 2017 found that 41 per cent of Canadians wanted to abolish the monarchy following the death or abdication of the Queen, while 43 per cent were in favour of maintaining ties.
The Governor General, who represents the Queen in Canada, is protected by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and as a prince of the realm of Canada, Harry and his family will be protected by the same team of guards, which will have to be expanded.
It came as Prince Harry was expected to arrive at Sandringham for showdown talks with the Queen , his father and his brother over his plans to stand down as a senior royal.
Meghan, in Canada with son Archie , could join the conversation by conference call but may not be able to due to the time difference, sources said.
Today’s summit comes five days after the bombshell announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that they want to step back, seek financial independence and spend much of their time in North America.
The fallout has engulfed the Windsor dynasty in one of its biggest crises since the death of William and Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
Prince Charles arrived at Sandringham, the Queen’s Norfolk estate, last night after a whistle stop visit to Oman to pay his condolences to the new ruler following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said.
The Duke of Cambridge was also understood to have arrived in Norfolk last night and stayed at his Anmer Hall residence. Today’s meeting is believed to be the first time that the Prince of Wales’s sons have been together in the same room since the Remembrance Day commemorations in November.
Harry, who has been staying at his home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, was due to arrive this morning, although no time for the meeting has been announced by the palace.
Harry, a former British Army officer, is regarded as a target by terror groups, including the Taliban who have threatened to assassinate him in the past because of his two high-profile tours of Afghanistan and his public support for military causes.