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Meghan Markle’s claims debunked by Beatrice and Eugenie decision

Princess Beatrice and Eugenie arrive at Prince Philip’s funeral

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Members of the Royal Family take on high profile roles representing the monarchy and as such many of them are eligible for state-funded security to keep them safe. Royals will always receive taxpayer-funded security when completing royal engagements, but several senior working members are also entitled to round-the-clock police protection, whereas others have to pay for it privately. The Duchess of Sussex said she was concerned that her son Archie was not going to have HRH status, because that meant he was not going to be given full-time security.

She also appeared to take his lack of HRH status as a slight, because he was the first person of colour to be born into the Royal Family, even though he was never entitled to that rank according to Letters Patent, which dictates who is a Prince or Princess.

Meghan told Oprah: “They were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or princess ‒ not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol ‒ and that he wasn’t going to receive security.”

She added: “How does that work? It’s like, ‘No, no, no. Look, because if he’s not going to be a prince, it’s like, OK, well, he needs to be safe, so we’re not saying don’t make him a prince or princess ‒ whatever it’s going to be…’

“But if you’re saying the title is what’s going to attend their protection, we haven’t created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder, you’ve allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe.”

When asked whether the title is important to her, she said: “If it meant he was going to be safe, then, of course.”

However, the idea that security entitlement is inherently linked to a royal’s title has been debunked.

Royal security is funded by the Home Office and decisions about who gets security are made by the Royal and VIP Executive Committee, which controls the security budget for the royal household and VIPs, including former prime ministers.

The actual protection is provided by a special branch of the Metropolitan Police Service called the Royalty and Specialist Protection.

Because it is taxpayers’ money which funds this, the Committee makes their decision based on numerous factors, not simply the arbitrary fact of whether someone has a title or not.

Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, for example, have not had full-time taxpayer-funded security for 10 years now.

This is because they are not considered working members of the Royal Family, meaning they do not carry out royal engagements on behalf of the Crown.

The princesses had 24-hour police protection up to 2011, at a cost of £500,000 per year to the taxpayer.

At the time, it was reported that the Duke of York was adamant his daughters should continue to receive paid security and also that he wished for them to be working members of the Royal Family.

Both these suggestions were seemingly rejected, and so the princesses’ security is now privately funded.

Eugenie and Beatrice have their own income from their respective careers, as do their husbands.

In recent years, the Royal Family has made attempts to “slim-down” the number of top royal jobs in line with Prince Charles’ vision for the future of the monarchy.

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He has always planned to reduce the number of titled royals, as well as decreasing the number of royals considered working members of the Firm.

What is notable about Meghan’s statements regarding titles being related to security is that she was actually friends with Eugenie before she met Harry, so it is surprising she did not know Eugenie does not have her security paid for.

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

In an episode which aired after the Oprah interview, Mr Myers said: “On the point of being half-in half-out, like we’ve been saying, trying to suggest they were like the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester or Beatrice and Eugenie…

“It just doesn’t work like that because they do not have full-time protection.

“And Harry’s point was he is still a target, the threat level hasn’t reduced, he’s a former military man and a senior figure within the Royal Family…

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“Well, that costs an awful lot to keep those people safe and if you don’t want to be a part of it, why should we be paying for it?”

It is not disclosed to the public how much royal protection costs.

The Treasury website says: “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 a long established policy not to comment upon the protective security arrangements and their related costs for members of the Royal Family or their residences.

However, one estimate put the total cost of protecting royals at £100million every year.

Meghan insisted to Oprah that the prestige of a title was not important to her, it was only the security aspect.

She said: “All the grandeur surrounding this stuff is an attachment I don’t personally have, right?

“I’ve been a waitress, an actress, a Princess, a Duchess. I’ve always just still been Meghan, right?

“So, for me, I’m clear on who I am, independent of all that stuff. And the most important title I will ever have is Mum. I know that.

“But the idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be…”

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