In the noble quest pursuing their right to a life of privacy, the Duke & Duchess’ of Suffolk were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.
Something that “emerged” – this has been a story in the press over the last year – was the “shocking” revelation from Prince Harry that he financially cut off from his family including the provision of a security team, which as the son of the future King he is well accustomed.
This seems perfectly reasonable on the surface but delve a little deeper and the rationale for why this was removed becomes clearer.
It boils down to cost but that does not mean automatically that by stepping aside from their service and commitments to the monarchy as working royals that they would automatically be stripped of security.
After unilaterally announcing that they would be splitting from the family firm, they moved temporarily to Canada where their security was provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
This meant that the not inconsiderable bill (circa £5+ million a year) was being picked up by the Canadian tax payer and this generous courtesy on the part of Canada was understandably exhausted by the end of March 2020.
The Sussexes then moved to the California. Now, herein lies a whole new level of complexity and greater expense in providing a bespoke security solution in a foreign country on a permanent basis.
The Windsor Privilege Gold Card does not stretch quite that far in the best of times and even less so whilst so many in Britain were suffering such hardship as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Not least as they were not there on any official business, in fact quite the opposite.
It is simply neither justifiable to nor acceptable for the public purse to be indulging a non-working royal household in trans-continental residential escapades in $15 million rented mansions.
Had they opted to remain in the United Kingdom then the circumstances would have been far more manageable in terms of costs. This would have some complications too for when dedicated eco-warriors Harry and Meghan were jetting off around the world without undertaking any royal duties.
That said, when one thinks of the past twelve months, during which time the Sussexes have been trialling going it alone; would that have made much of a difference if they had been holed up in Britain rather than in California?