Press misrepresented my departure from the Royal Family, says Harry at JPMorgan event in Miami
World / 10 February 2020, 06:05am / EMINE SINMAZ IN MIAMI AND REBECCA ENGLISH
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dined with Jennifer Lopez and her fiance Alex Rodriguez at a billionaires’ summit in the US, it has been claimed.
An employee told the Daily Mail that Harry spoke about "how the Press have misrepresented his departure from the Royal Family".
Harry gave a speech on Thursday night, watched by his wife, to an audience packed with US billionaires and celebrities, including former basketball star Magic Johnson. The prince talked about how he had been "in therapy" for the last three years over the death of his mother, Diana.
The couple are then said to have dined with singer and actress Miss Lopez and baseball star Rodriguez.
Harry and Meghan rubbed shoulders with Hollywood’s elite during their first private engagement since stepping down from royal duties.
One witness told the New York Post: ‘Harry and Meghan got on really well with Jennifer and Alex, and spent some time chatting with them over dinner.
"J-Lo was overheard inviting the couple and their baby Archie to her and Alex’s house in Miami to spend time with them and their kids."
But questions were raised over who funded the couple’s security at the invitation-only JP Morgan summit in Miami, Florida – where they are said to have earned up to £775 000 (about R15 million).
The couple reportedly flew in on JP Morgan’s private jet from Vancouver, despite previously calling for the world to embrace more eco-friendly ways to travel.
A security guard at the five-star 1 Hotel South Beach – which hosted the three-day wealth conference – told the Mail: "We have our own security but then there are at least 20 or 30 people that come in with their own teams. You could just see a bunch of people walking around in suits with ear pieces.
"I didn’t know Prince Harry was coming, but then just by chance I saw him surrounded by his guys. His security looked the most prepared, there were four of them and they were armed."
The family are, controversially, being guarded by at least four taxpayer-funded Metropolitan Police bodyguards while they are living in Canada.
It is almost certain that a number of these armed officers would have accompanied them to the US. Their security detail is being beefed up by local Mounties in Canada and may have included local officers in Miami. As high-ranking royals, the Sussexes are entitled to round-the-clock protection. But the cost has proved an increasingly acrimonious issue now that they are stepping down from official duties.
British and Canadian polls have consistently shown taxpayers object to paying for it. Scotland Yard has now launched an internal review of the situation. John Macy, from London, tweeted: "If Harry and the wife did indeed fly to/from Vancouver/Miami in a JP Morgan private jet, and scored $1million, then I sincerely hope: A) We hear no more from them about global warming B) They pay for their own security."
An American woman added: "I want it confirmed. Who paid for security? Did this Miami appearance cost the US taxpayers... while they made money?"
Former Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter said: "It’s the Government that decides on security, not [Harry and Meghan], that applies to all members of the Royal Family.
"They can’t be blamed for having protection officers with them. Harry was in the army, he was in Afghanistan in two tours of duty. He is a target."