EXCLUSIVE: The Duke of Sussex has claimed it is “unsafe” for his family to return to the UK and his private security arrangements are not enough
Image: Getty Images)
Prince Harry has started a new war with the royal family after threatening to take the government to court over his protection.
The Duke of Sussex claimed he is effectively in exile because it is “unsafe” for his family to return to the UK.
He claims his private security arrangements are not enough to ensure his family’s safety and privacy here.
Harry, 37, wants pay for specialist police protection, but the Home Office has ruled this out – and he has applied for a judicial review against the decision.
He and wife Meghan, 40, lost their taxpayer-funded police protection after quitting their royal roles in 2020. The couple, who live in California with their children Archie, two, and seven-month-old Lilibet, fund their own security there.
A legal representative for the Duke said: “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.
“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.
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“The Duke and Duchess personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that 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.”
But royal sources suggested this claim was “completely at odds” with Harry’s suggestion to family members that he would attend a memorial service for his late grandfather Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey, planned for the spring.
He is also expected to be in the Netherlands in April to launch the postponed 2021 Invictus Games in The Hague.
Additionally, Harry and Meghan have been invited to attend events over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend in June and would be expected to attend, sources confirmed.
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Harry has claimed his security was compromised last summer when his car was allegedly chased by paparazzi in London. He had travelled to the UK to unveil a statue of Princess Diana alongside brother Prince William in July.
When he had previously visited the UK in April for Prince Philip’s funeral he had been given police protection, but when he returned in the summer he was not.
Security sources confirmed this was due to a “change in situation”, from attending a global event alongside the Queen and other members of the royal family to being in the UK for a “private trip” of his own choosing.
Harry’s legal representative added: “The Duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January 2020.
That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer. Others who have left public office and have an inherent threat risk receive police protection at no cost to them.
Chris Jackson Collection)
“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.
But Dai Davies, former head of Scotland Yard’s royal protection unit, told the Mirror: “A lot of these issues appear to be greatly inflamed by Harry and his advisors, it really doesn’t need to be so fraught.
“If ever there was a proper credible threat to Prince Harry or his family then the Met would take the appropriate action.
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“If he or his family were to return to Britain in an official capacity or to support the Queen during the Platinum Jubilee events I’m sure he would be afforded the necessary protection.
“I would argue robustly against his case that he is not safe in the UK. If ever the British intelligence services did discover a threat to him and his family they are hardly going to sit on it. It appears that Harry is creating scenarios that do not exist.”
He suggested that if Harry and Meghan were to stay in the UK for an extended period they may need a team of up to 20 specially trained officers to guard them, if travelling separately between multiple locations.
One royal insider said: “The Queen is quite clear this is a matter for the Home Office. The Duke is fully aware of the terms of his departure from his royal role, so to be quite frank, this decision seems once again to be completely misguided and no one is sure of the basis for the argument.”
Security experts suggested Harry’s costs could be as much as £100,000 a week for a team of at least a dozen fully trained officers to provide round-the-clock protection for his family when visiting the UK.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.