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This is how much Prince Harry's visits to Toronto cost Canadians

Toronto fell in love with Prince Harry during his visit to the city back in 2017 when he and Megan Markle were spotted together at the Invictus Games.

The large presence of security guards and police motorcades caught the attention of Toronto residents well before the games, however, and now we know just how much that security cost Canadians in taxes.

Security related to Prince Harry's week-long Toronto visit in September of 2017, and other visits to Toronto between April 2017 and March 2018, cost taxpayers $182,430, according to a new report from the CBC.

That figure includes overtime and travel costs but not the salaries of police officers. 

During his week in Toronto, Prince Harry also attended a WE Day celebration, met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and attended a reception for young people who received Duke of Edinburgh gold awards. He toured the CN Tower and took time to speak with people at CAMH.

Prince Harry made several other unofficial visits to Canada between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 to meet Meghan Markle, but the RCMP did not break down the costs, according to the CBC report.

Recently, it was revealed Prince Harry and Meghan snuck out in Halloween costumes in Toronto while Harry was visiting in 2016 — well before the world knew they were dating. People spotted possible security in SUVs following the couple at that time.

In total, the CBC estimates a cost of more than $334,000 to protect Prince Harry and his family over less than four years — which includes a 2019 Christmas in Canada. The Canadian Taxpayers Association revealed the RCMP spent at least $56,384 from Nov. 18, 2019 to Jan. 19, 2020 until the couple stepped back from royal duties.

"More than $50,000 is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider the fact that this is taxpayers' money covering bills for one of the most famous and wealthy couples in the world," said Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

But "private visits to Canada are eligible to receive RCMP protective policing services in alignment with the RCMP's assessment of threat/risk," according to the CBC report.

Whether or not people agree with the costs, the Toronto visit was popular: It was one of the first times the public got a glimpse of the blooming romance between Prince Harry and Megan. And some people believe that was well worth the cost.

"Look at those two," one person wrote. "Tell me it wasn't worth every penny."

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