United States President Donald Trump said on Sunday that his country’s government will not pay for the security costs of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, who reportedly flew by private jet from Canada to Los Angeles before the border between the two countries closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom,” Trump tweeted. “It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!”
However, the royal couple said through a spokesperson that they have no plans to ask for publicly funded security in the United States, BBC reported. “The duke and duchess have no plans to ask the US government for security resources,” the statement said. “Privately funded security arrangements have been made.”
Last month, the Canadian government announced that it would stop providing security assistance to the family “in keeping with their change in status”.
In January, the couple decided to step down from their royal duties. They attended their last event as senior members of the British royal family earlier this month. The couple joined Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate, at the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in Central London. The couple will officially step down as royals on March 31.
Trump’s remarks come in the midst of a massive coronavirus epidemic in the United States. As of Monday morning, the disease has infected over 1,43,000 people in the country, and killed more than 2,400, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University.
Prince Harry’s father Charles, the Prince of Wales, tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. However, Buckingham Palace said he remains in good health.