The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have quietly deleted a claim from their new Sussex Royal website as talks continue over who should foot the bill for their security in Canada.

Prince Harry and Meghan claimed, following their shock decision to step down as senior members of the royal family last week, that as "internationally protected people" they would need around-the-clock armed security while living overseas.

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That security, which could cost up to $NZ1.9 million a year, would be provided by the Metropolitan Police and paid for by UK taxpayers under their plan.


"The Duke and Duchess are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security," their website stated.

But the controversial claim was dropped the next day, according to British media reports, in a sign questions had been raised about the degree of protection they could expect if not performing royal duties.

According to a 1973 United Nations convention, internationally protected people include heads of state – such as the Queen – prime ministers, foreign ministers and diplomats.

But they also include anyone who officially represents a head of state, such as senior members of the royal family.

In their current role, Prince Harry and Meghan are technically internationally protected people, but a senior police source told the Evening Standard that could soon change.

"Royal Protection by armed Metropolitan Police officers is mandated by the Home Office," the Scotland Yard source said.

"Until now their official roles mean the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son are classified as internationally protected people. That stays in place for now. But as the circumstances have changed there will now be a full review.

"If the Sussexes intend to live abroad, and not just carry out international official visits abroad, it will involve far more resources.

The Sussexes claimed that as internationally protected people, they were entitled to a high level of security. Photo / File
The Sussexes claimed that as internationally protected people, they were entitled to a high level of security. Photo / File

"This will have to be reviewed and signed off by the Commissioner. There is no guarantee it will be granted."

Jan Wouters, a professor of international law at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, told The Times it was also a decision for the British and Canadian governments.

"Harry and Meghan want to move away from carrying out royal duties and become purely private people. Therefore it is highly debatable whether they are legally entitled to the status of internationally protected people," he said.

"International protection will not continue if you withdraw into a purely private life. The logical conclusion is that there will have to be a bilateral agreement between Britain and Canada to provide for their security."

On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his government was now involved in the negotiations.

He has reportedly promised the Queen that Canada will help pay for the young couple's security, though finance minister Bill Morneau was less committal on Monday.

"We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role. (But) we have not had any discussions on that subject at this time," he told reporters.

The Queen has promised final decisions about her grandson's future role in the royal family will be made in "coming days".

Meanwhile, Meghan was spotted visiting a women's centre in Vancouver on Tuesday, while Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge got back to work with an official engagement in bradford.

The Duchess is spending time with their eight-month-old son Archie as she also grapples with reports her father could testify against her in her court case against a British newspaper.

Prince Harry is due to host the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 on Thursday at Buckingham Palace before returning to Vancouver to reunite with his wife and son.