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Prince Harry: We won’t return to the UK unless…

Prince Harry: We won't return to the UK unless...

Britain’s Prince Harry is challenging a government decision that he should not receive police protection when on British soil even if he covers the cost himself, his legal representatives said.

 

Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties in 2020 to forge new careers in Los Angeles. Subsequently the couple have relied upon a private security team.

 

However, his legal representatives said that these arrangements did not give the prince the level of protection he needed while visiting Britain.

 

“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home,” the statement said. It cited an incident in July 2021 where they said his security had been compromised whilst leaving a charity event due to the lack of police protection.

 

Harry’s mother Princess Diana died in a 1997 car crash while trying to escape paparazzi photographers.

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The government has previously dismissed two offers to pay for police protection, the prince’s lawyers said. A spokesperson said the process behind those decisions had been opaque and inconsistent and failed to consider the full risks.



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.

 

Harry sought a judicial review – a legal challenge to the lawfulness of decisions taken by a public body – in September 2021, the statement said. His lawyers said they had decided to make that information public due to a leak in the British press.

 

“The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in,” the statement said.

 

“With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk. Prince Harry hopes that his petition – after close to two years of pleas for security in the UK – will resolve this situation.”

 

When the duke and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, announced that they would step back as working members of the royal family in January 2020, they lost the UK taxpayer-funded security granted to senior royals. At the time, according to the representative, Harry offered to pay for continued police protection, but that request was not approved by the UK Home Office.



“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,” the representative said in a statement. “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.”

 

After a stint in Canada, Harry, Meghan, and their son, Archie, moved to the US following their departure from the royal family, where they eventually hired their own security team. According to their representative, that private team can’t legally provide the level of protection they need in the UK, and it’s already caused a problem.

 

On a trip back to the UK in July 2021, Harry’s security was allegedly compromised as he left a charity event because he didn’t have police protection, which was what prompted him to take legal action. The duke is still “willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer,” the representative said.

 

Meghan and Archie have not returned to the UK since the split; nor has the couple’s new daughter, Lilibet, who was born June 4, 2021, in California.

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