Security protection for Harry and Meghan’s new home could cost taxpayers up to R87m

Cape Town - British taxpayers might have to pay up to £5m (around R87m) to protect Meghan and Harry’s new home on the grounds of Windsor Castle, sources say.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in the process of renovating their 19th-century Frogmore Cottage before moving there from Kensington Palace, Daily Mail reports.

Final plans on how to secure the cottage grounds are already in place and are being kept secret, Mirror UK reports.

“The costs of building and security arrangements could balloon to £5m (around R890m) in the first year,” said former royal protection officer Ken Wharfe.

“There’s no protection at Frogmore, there’s no one living there,” he added. “There are costs of at least two or three private protection officers and to make sure the estate is policed adequately by Thames Valley Police.

“There will have to be major reviews of the security surrounding that property, exposed on virtually every side.”

The cottage grounds, which are close to public roads, are shielded only by a six-foot wall. The local Thames Valley force, Metro Police and royal protection teams have begun planning round-the-clock security, according to The Sun.

The royal couple hope to turn Frogmore Cottage into a five-bedroom home, with space for a nursery and a live-in nanny before the birth of their first child, due in April 2019, Daily Mail reports.

Although security measures are being paid for with taxpayers’ money, Meghan and Harry are expected to cover the decorative costs.

Sources: The Sun, Daily Mail, Mirror