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Who should pay for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's security? Show more Show less

On March 31 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially ceased to be senior members of the royal family. Their decision to step down from royal duties comes at a price. Their high security detail is alleged to have cost the UK taxpayer upwards of $9 million. No longer entitled to any public protection, and now based in Los Angeles, some argue the couple must foot the bill themselves. Others call this irresponsible, and say the state - wherever they live - should pay.

Harry and Meghan should pay for their own security Show more Show less

The couple cannot enjoy the benefits of being part of the Firm having chosen to leave it.
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As civilians, they are responsible for their own security

Having left the Royal family, the couple is no longer classified as 'internationally protected persons'. It was this classification that meant state obligation to protect them. They now must live under the same expectations as every other private citizen.
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Context

The Argument

Royalty is the height of privilege. Royals are not only born into immense wealth, but also status, celebrity, and opportunity. Considering this, it is difficult to make the case that the Duke and Duchess deserve the state's assistance in their security. The fame and opportunities that they have been granted as a result of their public image guarantees that they have ample ability to provide the funding for their own security. Most importantly, they willfully dropped their royal duties, so they should expect to lose the benefits associated with their titles. Without their royal status, they are now just celebrities. The most powerful Hollywood celebrities pay their own security bills, so Harry and Meghan should expect to do the same.[1] They made the decision to leave royalty, and they should expect to be responsible for their decision.

Counter arguments

Despite making the voluntary decision to leave their royal titles behind, in reality, it is only in name. Harry and Meghan are still inseparable from their royal status, and still members of the royal family. Therefore, their security needs and risks have remained unchanged. The only thing that has changed is that they will no longer participate in royal duties, and will not directly receive public funds for their use. Their security costs may be inconvenient considering their departure from royal duties, but it is necessary considering that they still retain the public image that is impossible to leave behind.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Their decision to drop royal duties and titles means that they should lose all the privileges associated with their titles. [P2] The average celebrity pays for their own protection, so they should too.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] They still have the status of royalty attached to their names, despite dropping their titles. [Rejecting P2] Their attachment to the royal family still means that they are vulnerable to safety concerns, and therefore the responsibility of the family and state.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/trumps-right-prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-security-costs-shouldnt-be-paid-for-by-us-taxpayers

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This page was last edited on Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 18:21 UTC