In the days following the shocking Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the issue of security for the royal family was hotly debated.
Meghan Markle claimed that their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was denied a royal title and thereby denied security.
However, this is something that has been rejected since there are other members of the royal family who hold an HRH title — such as Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice — and still do not receive full-time security funded by the taxpayers.
When conducting royal business and engagements, members of the family are entitled to security funded by taxpayers’ money.
Certain senior royals are entitled to 24/7 police protection, while some still have full-time security but fund this with their own private funds.
The Letters Patent is believed to be the reason why Archie was not given an HRH title when he was born in 2018.
However, speaking in the interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle said she wanted her son to have the title of “prince” if it meant he would be given protection and security.
She spoke about the “monster machine” of “clickbait and tabloid fodder,” which she claimed the royal family had “allowed to happen” and would prevent her son from being safe.
A pregnant Meghan Markle explained: “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.”
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie — granddaughters of Queen Elizabeth II — are not working members of the royal family and have not received full-time security since 2011.
Despite their father, Prince Andrew‘s wishes for them to be working members of the family, they instead have their own independent careers.
It seems that Meghan Markle has forgotten about Prince Andrew’s well-known rejection to have protection for his daughters.
While on the show Pod Save the Queen, royal editor Russell Myers explained: “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…”
Security for individual members of the royal family — thought to cost around $500,000 per year — is decided by an executive committee at the UK government’s Home Office.
There are various factors taken into account when deciding whether a member of the royal family should be given full-time security, and it is not based simply on whether they have a title.