Queen Elizabeth II reportedly issued a stern warning to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle over their ballooning security costs, as the two are set to begin their lives after stepping down from the royal family.
According to the Daily Express, the queen allegedly felt it necessary to have a "private word" with the pair about their extensive protection budget. Though the Sussexes announced their intention to become financially independent after stepping down from the royal family, they remain funded by the taxpayers until March 31.
In addition, they will remain privately funded by Prince Charles and the queen for the foreseeable future, despite stepping down from royal duties. The budget for protecting the two has been estimated at around over $25 million.
"The Queen has made it clear to the couple that at some point they are going to have to take on that cost themselves," explained royal reporter Omid Scobie.
However, Scobie also added that the royal confrontation remained a rumor, and had not been confirmed. Moreover, he added that it likely would never be confirmed due to the palace's policy of silence regarding protection.
"But this is all reports... Buckingham Palace never comments on security matters. Time will tell."Though it remains unclear who will be funding the couple's protection from April 1 onward, most believe that it will fall on Prince Charles.
Experts have pointed out that Harry and Meghan's habit of leaving Archie behind while going on work trips has added to their security costs. The pair are leaving the 8-month-old behind in Canada during their brief return to the United Kingdom for their last official royal engagements. The decision has a hefty price tag, with experts estimating that it has added an additional $65,000 to the security bill, according to the Daily Mail.
The whispers of the uncomfortable conversation come shortly after Canada recently announced that it would not be paying for the Sussexes' security costs despite their current residency in the Great White North. Though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had originally suggested that Canadians could cover the costs, the measure was met with widespread unpopularity and the government ultimately decided against it.
The rumors also come after several leaks from Harry and Meghan's security staff have hinted at their displeasure at working for the duke and duchess, with one insider claiming they had "lost all respect" for the pair, per The Inquisitr.
"How many times have you ever heard of a bodyguard working with the royal family say they are fed up?" added the source, highlighting out how frustrated the security detail must be to speak to the press about their discontent.