Prince Harry’s lawyers seek court review over refusal by the UK home office to pay for his police security while in the country.
After stepping down from royal duties in 2020 and migrating to Los Angeles with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their son, Archie, Harry has his taxpayer-funded police security.
However, the Duke of Sussex, who is based in the United States, now claims that his private security team has proper jurisdiction abroad and that his status as a prince means he will always be a security risk and a target of hate crimes.
According to his lawyers, the Prince wants to visit his homeland with his family, but must first “ensure” their safety.
Following a security incident in London in July 2021, when Harry’s car was trailed by paparazzi as he left a charity event, the application for a judicial review – a challenge in the High Court against a decision of a public body or government department – was filed.
A legal representative for Prince Harry said the legal claim was filed 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 duke claims that his private security team cannot match police protection in the UK because they lack access to local intelligence and legal jurisdiction as they do in the United States and Canada.
“Prince Harry acquired a security risk at birth, which he will carry with him for the rest of his life,” according to a statement.
“He is the sixth in line to the throne, has served two tours of combat in Afghanistan, and his family has faced well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats in recent years.”
In January 2020, as the Sussex future role was being discussed with the Queen at Sandringham, his legal representative said he offered to pay the costs of police security. The offer, however, was turned down, according to the spokesman.
“The United Kingdom will always remain Prince Harry’s home and his wife and children. There is an excessive personal risk associated with the lack of police protection “According to the statement.
After then-president Donald Trump declared the US would not pay for their protection, the pair was obliged to reveal they had put in place “privately funded security arraignment” for their move to the US.
In response to the legal requests, a government spokesperson stated:
“We have a long-standing policy of not disclosing specific details about those relationships. This could jeopardize their credibility and jeopardize people’s safety.”