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Who should pay for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's security? Show more Show less

On March 31 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially ceased to be senior members of the royal family. Their decision to step down from royal duties comes at a price. Their high security detail is alleged to have cost the UK taxpayer upwards of $9 million. No longer entitled to any public protection, and now based in Los Angeles, some argue the couple must foot the bill themselves. Others call this irresponsible, and say the state - wherever they live - should pay.

The state should pay Show more Show less

The state has a responsibility to protect its citizens.
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Security is a Royal birthright

Having state-funded security is the right of all Royals, wherever they choose to live. The tragic case of Princess Diana illustrates the dangers of losing security for Royals.
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Context

On April 1, 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they had quit the Royal Family, making global headlines. Many commentators have remarked on the issue of their security. Royal protection officers are funded by the British taxpayer. Because Harry and Meghan will not be participating in Royal duties, many argue that they should not have access to state-funded security. Others have argued, however, that as Prince Harry was born Royal, he is entitled to Security as a Royal birthright.

The Argument

Being a Member of the British Royal Family comes with many privileges. However, it also comes with a high risk of public scrutiny and security risks. Due to their prominence and wealth, the Royals are often targets. In 1974, Princess Anne, Prince Harry's Aunt, was the target of a kidnapping attempt. [1] In 1994, there was a failed assassination attempt on Prince Charles, Prince Harry's father. Prince Harry did not choose to be a part of the Royal Family, he was born into it. As illustrated above, being a Royal comes with significant risks. His rescindment of public duties does not alleviate the danger he and his family could face because of his public status. For these reasons, he is still entitled to security as a Royal Birthright. Even though Harry and Meghan have left the Royal family, the potential threat to their wellbeing remains high. A former Royal bodyguard has commented that the security Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would need, as senior Royals, would be extremely expensive. This is due to the specialist training and contacts such security officers would need. [2] As Prince Harry did not ask to be born Royal, we should not expect him to pay extremely high sums for security.

Counter arguments

Other senior Royals, such as Beatrice and Eugenie, do not have access to state-funded security. They are Prince Harry's cousins, and their security is privately funded by their father, the Prince of York. [3] This shows that it is possible for Royals to pay for their own security, and therefore suggests that state-funded security is not a Royal birthright. It is also morally questionable as to whether or not the state should pay for the Duke and Duchess' security when the wealth of the Royal Family is considered. Moreover, the Duke and Duchess' status as celebrities means that they would have ample ways of earning enough money to fund their security entourage themselves.

Framing

Premises

[1] Due to their wealth and prominence members of the British Royal Family are often vulnerable to attack. [2] Even though Prince Harry has left the Royal Family the threat to him remains high. This is not his fault as he is Royal by birth, and therefore he should be entitled to Security. [3] The alternative, private security, is too high a cost to expect Prince Harry to pay. He needs the security due to his status as a Prince, which he did not choose.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The Duke and Duchess aim to have a less public existence, which will limit their exposure to potential threats. [Rejecting P2] Prince Harry's decision to leave was his own, and therefore he should know the consequences. [Rejecting P3] Their private income, as well as the Royals' immense wealth, is more than enough to fund a private security detail.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/bloody-attempt-kidnap-british-princess-180950202/
  2. https://www.insider.com/former-royal-bodyguard-threats-prince-harry-meghan-could-face-canada-2020-1
  3. https://www.insider.com/former-royal-bodyguard-threats-prince-harry-meghan-could-face-canada-2020-1

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This page was last edited on Friday, 10 Jul 2020 at 16:14 UTC