The Duke of Sussex has threatened legal action in hopes to help protect his family’s security.
Prince Harry filed a claim requesting a judicial review of the Home Office’s decision to not allow him to personally pay for police protection, something the Duke wishes to have for him and his family while visiting in the U.K.
Harry wants to bring his son Archie and daughter Lilibet for a visit from the U.S. However, a legal representative for the Duke said that he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because of the danger that “absence of such protection” imposes.
“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 U.K.,” Harry’s legal representative said in a statement to ET Canada. “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.”
Harry’s willingness to pay for the extra security himself follows an incident when his car was chased by paparazzi “whilst leaving a charity event” in London during the summer of 2021. The scenario unfolded because “his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection,” with the scenario uncomfortably familiar to the circumstances behind the 1997 Paris car crash that took the life of his mother, Princess Diana, after she was chased by paparazzi.
The legal representative noted that “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 duke wants to bear the cost of the security, instead of asking taxpayers to cough up the bill. He first offered to personally fund the U.K. police protection in January 2020; however “that offer was dismissed.” Another attempted negotiation was also rejected which saw Harry file for a judicial review in September 2021 to challenge the decision-making process.
“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 legal representative explained of Harry’s hopes that the situation could be re-evaluated “so his children can know his home country.”
Lilibet, who is now seven months old, has yet to meet her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and grandfather the Prince of Wales, as well as other members of the Royal Family.
“The U.K. 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,” said the representative for the duke. “Prince Harry hopes that his petition — after close to two years of pleas for security in the U.K. — will resolve this situation.”
Harry’s lawyers wrote the pre-action protocol letter, filing the judicial review to the Home Office. If the case proceeds, it will be taken to the High Court for a legal battle between Ministers and Prince Harry.
According to The Daily Mail, the Queen is aware of her grandson’s action, which is believed to be the first time that a Royal Family member has brought on a case against Her Majesty’s Government.
Harry and Meghan’s taxpayer-funded police protection was dismissed in the aftermath of stepping down as senior working royals. Their security arrangement was one of the major issues the couple endured when they announced their royal departure in 2020.