Who should pay for Harry and Meghan’s security, according to Canadians?

On January 8, 2020, in an Instagram post, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan (The Duke and Duchess of Sussex) announced they would “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become ‘financially independent’.” In the post, the couple also mentioned that they plan to split their time between North America and the United Kingdom.

This announcement sent shock waves through the royal family, and almost immediately, people began to wonder where in North America the couple would decide to live.

A few days later, on January 13, the Queen issued a statement from Buckingham Palace. In addition to mentioning that she supports Harry and Meghan, she noted that as the couple transitions out of their royal roles, they will split their time between Canada and the UK.[1]

While some Canadians weren’t very interested, others (along with media outlets across the country) immediately began to ask questions. Where in Canada will the couple live? How will they earn a living? And perhaps most important of all: who will be responsible for paying for their security?

To explore what Canadians think, we went straight to the source and surveyed 1,587 of them online to understand their perspectives on Harry and Meghan’s move to Canada.

From the perspective of Canadians, is Harry and Meghan’s move good news or bad news?

From January 17-21, 2020, we asked Canadians whether they think the couple’s announcement to live in Canada is good news or bad news.

Perhaps surprisingly, despite the substantial media attention the move is receiving, about three-in-five Canadians (61%) are indifferent. 26% think that the announcement is good news, while 9% think that it is bad news. 4% don’t know or prefer not to answer.

Graphic showing Canadians' opinions on whether Harry and Meghan moving to Canada is good news or bad news

Ontarians are most likely to feel that this is good news (34%), and maybe there’s a bit of pride involved:  in the past, Meghan Markle moved to Toronto and lived there for years while filming the television show Suits.

Canadians think Meghan and Harry should cover their own security costs

Two-thirds (67%) of Canadians think that Meghan and Harry should be responsible for covering their own security costs in Canada. This is over three times as many Canadians as the next-closest alternative: 23% feel the Government of the United Kingdom should be responsible. Only one-in-twenty (5%) Canadians feel that it should be the Government of Canada’s responsibility. 6% don’t know or prefer not to answer.

Graphic showing Canadians' opinions on who should pay for the royal couple's security in Canada

Some interesting differences emerge by age: Canadians aged 18-34 are more likely to feel that the couple’s move to Canada is good news, and are also more likely to feel that the Government of Canada should be responsible for paying for their security.

What happens next?

On January 22, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that he has not spoken to the Queen about how the couple’s security costs will be covered, so what will happen remains to be seen.[2] Either way, Canadians’ opinions are clear.

Survey Methodology

This online survey of 1,587 Canadians aged 18+ was conducted from January 17-21, 2020. Respondents were randomly recruited from the Leger Opinion (LEO) online panel. The data are weighted to ensure a representative sample of the population. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of n=1,587 would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Sources

[1] https://www.royal.uk/statement-her-majesty-queen Retrieved January 22, 2020

[2] https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-her-majesty-prince-harry-meghan-security-costs-canada-1.5434579 Retrieved January 22, 2020

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