Prince Harry is threatening to sue the Home Office after it decided not to provide him with security on his visits to the UK. He reportedly offered to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family when they are in the UK but this offer was refused.
Lawyers acting for the Duke of Sussex have written a “pre-action protocol” letter to the Home Office.It reveals that they will seek a judicial review if continued security is not provided by the UK, when he and his family visit.Judicial reviews can typically cost around £100,000.
The Sussexes are demanding the kind of 24-hour protection from police that is normally only given to royals or government officials.
After stepping away from the Royal Family, Harry is now in effect a private citizen and it is claimed that if he was to receive protection then any high-profile figure could also claim it.Their legal representatives argue that Harry and his family have been subject to extremist threats.
The refusal of the Sussexes fly to the UK from their home in California until the security row is resolved means the Queen will not meet her great-granddaughter Lilibet until the issue is resolved. Royal biographer Phil Dampier told The Sun: “I don’t think Meghan will ever come back to this country and I think this is a very good excuse for not coming back – I don’t think realistically (Harry) expects to win this case.
“Getting his protection reinstated would set a precedent and so it gives them the perfect opportunity to say we can’t come to platinum jubilee celebrations.Harry might come over but it gives Meghan a good excuse not to come and also not to bring the children.” Lilibet, the second child of Harry and Meghan, was born in the US and will turn one in June this year.
Her brother Archie was born in May 2019 but has not been back to the UK since “Megxit” in January 2020. Prince Harry’s legal representative said the Duke had “inherited a security risk at birth”, “served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan” and pointed out that his family had been subjected to “well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats”.
In a statement, the legal representative said: “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.
“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.”