Prince Harry has applied for a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family when they are in the UK.
The Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their roles as a senior working member of the Royal family in 2020 and as a result, they lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in the UK.
The 37-year-old said it is “not safe” for him to return home from the US with his wife and their two children, Lilibet and Archie, without security.
A statement by his legal team reads: “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 concludes.
Full statement from Prince Harry’s legal spokesperson: pic.twitter.com/JU2hS7KKYH
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) January 15, 2022