Prince Harry may be sixth in line to the British throne, but he couldn’t be more geographically distant. The royal heir is now challenging the U.K. government’s refusal to let him personally pay for police protection when he visits Britain, saying that the rule “does not make him feel safe,” lawyers say.
The prince made headlines in early 2021 when he and his wife, Meghan Markle, quit their jobs as working royals due to the harassment and “racist attitudes” they claimed to suffer according to ABC. The pair and their young son Archie Harrison moved to Canada briefly before settling into a Montecito, California mansion. They’ve since added a daughter to their family after moving to the United States.
Now the drama is heating up all over again as Prince Harry heads to court. The Duke of Sussex’s legal team says Harry wants to bring his children Archie (2) and Lilibet (8 months) to visit the U.K. but believes it would be too risky without the protection of royal police, ABC News reported.
Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth still have not met the couple’s youngest child, who is named after Harry’s grandmother. Rumors of tension between Harry and his family have been ongoing both before and after the prince’s dramatic royal exit.
Senior members of the British royal family are provided with taxpayer-funded police protection. However, the Sussexes lost access to the privilege when they left their positions in the family. They’ve since been shelling out funds for their own private security in California.
That security is allegedly not enough for Harry when he’s overseas, however. A statement explained “that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK.”
Harry did not attend Friday’s hearing at the High Court in London. But the prince’s attorney Shaheed Fatima said the prince “does not feel safe when he is in the U.K. given the security arrangements applied to him.”
“It goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart,” she said. “Most of all, this is and always will be, his home.”
Robert Palmer, the lawyer representing the British government, called Harry’s claim “unarguable and unmeritorious.”
Palmer said that Harry’s offer to pay for police security missed the mark because “personal protective security by the police is not available on a privately financed basis.” The attorney also said the Duke of Sussex would be responsible for “excessive” legal costs the case incurs, which experts predicted could exceed half a million dollars, Daily Mail reported.
Prince Harry briefly returned from his new United States residence last June for the unveiling of the Diana statue and some other events in London. He left his wife Meghan and their two children at home.
The claim was made that the Duke’s car was chased by photographers as he left.
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