The Duke and Duchess of Sussex risk facing higher levels of intrusion after announcing plans to step back from their roles, according to a former royal bodyguard.
Simon Morgan was a Metropolitan Police Personal Protection Officer (PPO) for the Queen and other members of the royal family, including Prince Harry, from 2007 until 2013.
He said Harry and Meghan will require security for the rest of their lives and suggested that this level of withdrawal from public life will result in people wanting to know what they are doing from day to day.
Mr Morgan, who is now the director of operations and training at private security firm Trojan Consultancy, said: “The threat is not going to go away. They’re still a senior member of the British royal family.”
He told the PA news agency: “I don’t think it’ll see any increased risk factor in relation to what they already face as being a member of the royal family.
“There may be more intrusion in so much as people may want to see what they’re doing, so that may increase that risk.
“But the actual physical risk of harm I don’t think that’s going to change, but I do think there may be an increased risk of intrusion just to try and establish what they’re doing on a day to day, week by week basis.”
Mr Morgan added: “A certain element of withdrawal from public life will definitely see people wanting to know what they’re doing.”
It appears Harry and Meghan believe British taxpayers will continue paying for their security.
Sussexroyal.com, referring to armed security by the Metropolitan Police mandated by the Home Office, said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security.”
Mr Morgan said the couple could potentially turn to a private firm if they wanted to fund security themselves.
“Certainly whilst they’re on the current protected list, and they retain their HRH titles, then they will be entitled to government-funded protection.
“How that is worked out in relation to other stakeholders, in terms of the country that they’re actually going to be residing in, is probably something that would be dealt with at a very high level,” he said.
Mr Morgan said Harry’s time in the Armed Forces and the part he played in the “war on terror” increased his profile on top of being a a member of the royal family, and also pointed out the threat from people who are “fixated” with the royals and “may or may not wish to do them harm”.
Mr Morgan said that from a security point of view, the couple’s plans are “unprecedented” as it involves members of the royal family living outside of the UK for a prolonged period of time, but added that he thinks it would be “very simple” to work out a protection plan for the couple for their time spent living abroad.
“With regards to royalty protection working with law enforcement in Canada and security forces, they’ve just had a dry run over the last six weeks for that, so they will understand what the complications are, they’ll understand what the positives and negatives have been for that particular deployment,” he said, adding that experience will also be drawn from various royal tours overseas.
“So the actual operational delivery side of things I don’t believe will be complicated at all,” he said.
Speaking about his time working as a protection officer for Harry, Mr Morgan said: “He was a very considerate kind of principal, clearly understood what role the protection officers had, and what we needed to do to keep him safe.”