Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have hired Barack Obama’s former bodyguard to watch over them, amid fears for their safety.
Christopher Sanchez provided close protection services for President Obama and President George W. Bush when he worked as a Secret Service agent for five years.
The security expert is now working with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and accompanied them when they flew to the UK to visit the Queen last week.
According to The Sun, Sanchez was also one of five bodyguards protecting Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands over the weekend.
The couple’s security fears hit headlines earlier this year, amid Harry’s ongoing legal dispute with the Home Office in the UK.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost their taxpayer-funded police protection after they stepped down as senior working members of the Royal family in 2020.
Because of this, the couple have been unable to return to the UK with their two children, Lilibet and Archie, due to safety concerns.
In September 2021, Harry applied for a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him personally pay for police protection for himself and his family when they are in the UK.
Speaking at a preliminary hearing at London’s High Court in February, the Duke’s attorney Shaheed Fatima expressed Harry’s desire to return home to visit family and friends.
According to The Guardian, Fatima said: “This claim is about the fact that the claimant does not feel safe when he is in the U.K. given the security arrangements that were applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him if he decides to come back.”
“And, of course, it should go without saying that he wants to come back: to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart. Most of all, this is, and always will be, his home.”
Prince Harry’s bid to reinstate his police protection first hit headlines in January.
At the time, the father-of-two’s legal team released a statement explaining why he sought a judicial review in September 2021.
They 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.”
“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.”
The statement continued: “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 UK 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.”
“Prince Harry hopes that his petition – after close to two years of pleas for security in the UK – will resolve this situation. It is due to a leak in a UK tabloid, with surreptitious timing, we feel it necessary to release a statement setting the facts straight,” the statement concluded.