Ex-head of royal protection weighs in on Prince Harry row
The Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan Markle lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in the aftermath of their sensational decision to quit royal duties to forge new careers in California in 2020. Since then, the couple have relied upon a private security team in the US but legal representatives argue this team does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information which is needed to keep the Sussex family safe.
A legal representative for Harry said the Duke wants to fund the security himself, rather than ask taxpayers to foot the bill.
But, so far, this has been rejected twice by the Government.
Express.co.uk is asking who should pay for the Duke of Sussex’s security while he is in Britain?
Harry wants to bring his son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet to visit from the US, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, a legal representative said.
Prince Harry is engulfed in a security row
Lilibet, who is now seven months, has yet to meet her great-grandmother the Queen, grandfather Prince Charles and other members of the family face to face.
A legal representative for the duke said in a statement: “The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in.
“With the lack of police protection, comes too great a personal risk.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK.
“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.”
It follows an incident in London in the summer of 2021 when his security was compromised after his car was chased by paparazzi photographers as he left a charity event.
READ MORE: Meghan could ‘never’ return to UK as Harry police row ‘good excuse’
Prince Harry said his car was chased by paparazzi photographers following this event
The Duke briefly returned from LA last July for the unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial statue, and in the morning, met seriously ill children and young people at a WellChild garden party and afternoon tea in Kew Gardens, west London.
It is understood the Duke’s car was chased by photographers as he left.
Harry’s mother Diana died in a car crash in 1997 after she was chased by the paparazzi in Paris.
The legal representative added: “Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.
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Prince Harry wants to bring his son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet to visit from the US
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quit the Firm in 2020
“While his role within the Institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.”
The bid for a judicial review was filed in September.
Harry and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in the aftermath of quitting as senior working royals.
Their security provision was one of the key issues when the couple announced they wanted to step down in 2020.
Their website at the time suggested the Home Office, through the Metropolitan Police, should continue to provide protection for the couple and their son Archie.
Royal Family tree
But Harry and Meghan were forced to disclose they had put in place “privately funded security arrangements” for their move to the US, after then-president Donald Trump said his country would not pay for their protection.
The Sussexes have signed multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, with the duke telling Oprah Winfrey he secured these to pay for his security.
The legal representative added: “The Duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham. That offer was dismissed.
“He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer. As is widely known, others who have left public office and have an inherent threat risk receive police protection at no cost to them.
“The goal for Prince Harry has been simple – to ensure the safety of himself and his family while in the UK so his children can know his home country.
“During his last visit to the UK in July 2021 – to unveil a statue in honour of his late mother – his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection, whilst leaving a charity event.
“After another attempt at negotiations was also rejected, he sought a judicial review in September 2021 to challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures, in the hopes that this could be re-evaluated for the obvious and necessary protection required.”
Asked about the statement a Government spokesperson said that the UK Government’s protective security system was “rigorous and proportionate”, and that it was its long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on any arrangements as this could compromise individuals’ security.
The spokesperson also said it would be “inappropriate” to comment in detail on any legal proceedings.