Prince Harry’s High Court claim against the Home Office for not allowing him to pay for police protection while in the UK will have its first hearing on Friday.
The Duke of Sussex wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but claims they are ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is too dangerous, his lawyer has said. Harry and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in the aftermath of quitting as senior working royals in early 2020.
The Prince is arguing his private protection team in the US does not have jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence which is needed to keep his family safe. His bid for a review of the Home Office decision was filed in September.Friday’s preliminary hearing at the High Court at London is expected to cover what parts of the court documents can be made public or must be kept private.
Harry has previously said he ‘inherited’ a risk on being born into the royal family. He briefly returned from LA last year for the July 1 unveiling of the Diana statue and, the day before he met sick children at a WellChild garden party in Kew Gardens.It is understood the duke’s car was chased by photographers as he left. Harry’s mother Diana died in a car crash after she was chased by the paparazzi in Paris.
The Duke wants to fund the security himself, rather than ask taxpayers to foot the bill, a legal representative for Harry said.The statement said: ‘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 UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in,’ the legal representative for the duke said in a statement. ‘With the lack of police protection, comes too great a personal risk.’ The representative continued: ‘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.’ They went on: ‘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.’ 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.’ The Queen was believed to have been made aware of his action, which is thought to be the first time a member of the Firm has brought a case against the Government.
A source told the Mail on Sunday last month: ‘Harry’s argument in a nutshell is: ‘You got the law wrong.’ He feels the decision to remove his security was wrong. ‘Pre-action protocol was sent by Harry’s lawyers to the Home Office a couple of months ago. This is essentially a precursor to a judicial review.’
Harry and Meghan’s security provision was one of the key issues when the couple announced they wanted to step down in January 2020.They were later 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.
A Government spokesman said: ‘The UK Government’s protective security system is rigorous and proportionate..’It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements. ‘To do so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals’ security. It would also not be appropriate to comment on the detail of any legal proceedings.’