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Harry and Meghan security to be paid 'privately', say couple in riposte to Donald Trump

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Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards, London, UK, March 5, 2020.
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards, London, UK, March 5, 2020.   -   Copyright  JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP or licensors
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said that security arrangements connected to their reported move to the United States will be "privately funded", and they have "no plans" to ask the US government for help.

The unusual disclosure came in response to a comment from President Trump, who insisted the US would not foot the bill to keep Prince Harry and Meghan Markle safe.

The exchange follows months of speculation over who will pay for the couple's security after they step back as senior royals. They are due to begin their new roles this Tuesday (March 31).

Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday after People magazine reported last week that the Sussexes had left Vancouver Island in Canada -- where they have been living with their 10-month-old son Archie -- for Los Angeles, Meghan's hometown.

"The US will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!", said the US president, after stating that he was a "great friend and admirer of the Queen and the United Kingdom.

A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said "no plans to ask the US government for security resources," adding that "privately-funded security arrangements have been made".

This reveals more than previously published details of the new measures to come into effect when the couple take on their new roles.

The Sussexes' website, outlining future plans agreed at a meeting of the Royal Family in January, said the Duke and Duchess would "continue to require effective security to protect them and their son" by virtue of their public profiles and risk level. However, the statement went on to say "no further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons".

After first announcing that they wanted to step back as senior royals and become financially independent, Harry and Meghan later said they intended to divide their time between North America and the UK and would give up their HRH titles.