Security Services in Toronto

A Royal Move to Canada – Security + Taxes

The latest in hot topics out of the UK and Canada, is the expected role change for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex. They have announced they plan to step back from their roles as Royals and work towards becoming financially independent while potentially making a move to Canada or the US.

Our own Executive Protection Director – Joe Balz, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who was also responsible for the protection of Head of States and members of the Royal Family, has had the opportunity to speak to the media this past week in regards to his opinion on the potential tax burden Canadians may be faced with should we see the pair move to Canada. To follow up on his chat with Reuters, and his opinion on determining if Government agencies or private security would ultimately take on the Security challenge of ex-Royals residing in Canada, we thought we would speak with him to provide more background information and hopefully shed some light on this seemingly hot topic.

Speaking with Joe, the million dollar question that is forefront in news today – 

What would it cost Canadians?

There is no simple answer to this question, however the subsequent question is who would be responsible?

Is their security the responsibility of the Canadian Government or any other government which may be affected?

The answer in Canada can clearly defined by both the Criminal Code and Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Section 2 of the Criminal Code defines Internationally Protected Persons as:

In this Act, “internationally protected person” means (a) a head of state, including any member of a collegial body that performs the functions of a head of state under the constitution of the state concerned, a head of a government or a minister of foreign affairs, whenever that person is in a state other than the state in which he holds that position or office, (b) a member of the family of a person described in paragraph (a) who accompanies that person in a state other than the state in which that person holds that position or office, (c) a representative or an official of a state or an official or agent of an international organization of an intergovernmental character who, at the time when and at the place where an offence referred to in subsection 7(3) is committed against his person or any property referred to in section 431 that is used by him, is entitled, pursuant to international law, to special protection from any attack on his person, freedom or dignity, or (d) a member of the family of a representative, official or agent described in paragraph (c) who forms part of his household, if the representative, official or agent, at the time when and at the place where any offence referred to in subsection 7(3) is committed against the member of his family or any property referred to in section 431 that is used by that member, is entitled, pursuant to international law, to special protection from any attack on his person, freedom or dignity;

If the Royal Couple were to step away from their responsibilities and status as Royals, this section of the Criminal Code clearly would indicate they would have no I.P.P. status in Canada.

As far as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is concerned it states:

A person who has reason to fear persecution in his or her country of origin due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion can be designated as a protected person by the Immigration and Refugee Board and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

I believe that act clearly would not apply in this matter.

Having made these observations there have been exceptions to Section 2 of the Criminal Code in the past and will also affect future considerations.  The Canadian Government can make exceptions for individuals who visit Canada for purposes which may affect the interests of Canada both favourably or negatively.  These are very isolated incidents and based on short stays in the Country.  

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been designated by the Canadian Government to provide the necessary Threat/Risk assessments in conjunction with other like minded agencies and then a security operational plan and team are implemented and carried out by the Force.

The cost of these operations can be considerable based on the individuals and length of time on the ground.

How would this impact the Duke and Duchess of Sussex?

There is already several examples of similar Royal departures.

King Edward VIII

Abdication from the throne Dec 1936. Edward married Wallis Simpson in France on June 1937 and during the Second World War was stationed with the British Military Mission to France and later he was appointed Governor fo the Bahamas.  After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in exile.  Upon his abdication he was given £25,000 annually for support. He was responsible for all expenses relating to his private life which would have included “Security” if it was required.  Edward did travel extensively and met with high levels of government including Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt December 1940 and Richard M. Nixon on Aug 1970.  During those visits security would have been provided by the Secret Service and paid by the U.S. Government.

Princess Of Wales – Princess Diana

On divorce of Prince Charles she continued to be regarded as a member of the royal family and was accorded the same precedence she enjoyed during her marriage. After her 1996 divorce, Diana retained the apartment at Kensington Palace that she had shared with the Prince of Wales.  She was still afforded a level of Royal Protection. During her courtship with Dodi Al-Fayed she was afforded private security paid by the Al-Fayed family.  Her private bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor of her Aug 1997 fatal car accident.  Rees-Jones was also employed by the Al-Fayed family.

Sarah Ferguson – Duchess of York

The Duke and Duchess of York announced their separation in March 1992. The palace announced that the Duchess would no longer carry out public engagements on behalf of the Queen.  By her divorce on May 1996,  Sarah ceased being a Royal Highness, as she was no longer married to the Duke of York.  Although still having residences at Royal properties, she is responsible for her own livelihood including security when required.

How would security look?

Cost of security would be based on many aspects of requirements.

  • Protecting the home or homes (vacation properties)
  • Bodyguards and security team
  • Costs of travel and protection while travelling

The answers to the above would only be answered by a thorough Threat/Risk assessment which would include lifestyle, business interests and character etc.

To give context to the cost of security the following is an example of documented cases.

Tech Industry CEO’s – U.S. Figures

  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook): $4.26m
  • Jeff Bezos (Amazon): $1.6m
  • Evan Spiegel (Snap): $890,000
  • Marissa Mayer (Yahoo): $545,000
  • Eric Schmidt (Google): $360,000
  • Tim Cook (Apple): $210,000

High level Business executives

  • Jack Dorsey (Twitter): $112,000
  • Brian Krzanich (Intel): $65,000

A study by Fortune 100 executives and their security found the median cost for a top CEO in the U.S. was $126,550. U.S.  The cost of Executive Security in Canada for the most part would be less.


The requirement for Canada or any other country to provide security to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be based on how their presence in the country would effect the security and interests of Canada The other factor to consider is that all IPP’s are invited visitors by invitation by the government through Global Affairs Canada.  IPP’s do not arrive uninvited.  Agreements at that point are negotiated for the necessary security required.  The ultimate decision would be given by the Government in power.

It should be noted that full time security in Canada is terminated for the Prime Minister once leaving office.  In the U.S. Presidential security now ceases after 5 years of leaving the office.  In the past this security was given till the President including the First Lady were deceased.  George Bush Jr. will be the last President in the U.S. including the First Lady to have lifetime security.  It is evident that Governments are realizing the cost of security worldwide and attempting to make cuts where deemed prudent still recognizing the ultimate aim.

Sentinel Security Plus believes the answer to be slanted towards Private Security for the ex-Royals which would also give them more personal control of the family needs and requirements.  This being said, we would be very interested in being included in the conversation.



Guest Blogger Rayna Davies

Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management.  She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security.  Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details.  These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities.  She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration.  Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent.