LONDON: Britain’s Prince Harry is questioning a government decision that he should not receive police protection on British soil, even if he pays the costs himself, his legal representatives have said.
Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, and his American wife Meghan quit their royal duties in 2020 to pursue new careers in Los Angeles. The couple then relied on a private security team.
However, his legal representatives said these arrangements did not give the prince the level of protection he needed during his visit to the UK.
“Without such protection, Prince Harry and his family cannot return to his home,” the statement said. It cited an incident in July 2021 where his safety had been compromised while exiting a charity event due to a lack of police protection.
Harry’s mother Princess Diana died in a car accident in 1997 while trying to escape paparazzi photographers.
The government had previously rejected two offers to pay for police protection, the prince’s lawyers said. A spokesman said the process behind those decisions was opaque, inconsistent and didn’t consider all risks.
Asked about the statement, a government spokesman said the UK government’s protections regime was “rigorous and proportionate” and that it was its long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on arrangements as it could endanger the safety of individuals.
The spokesman also said it was “inappropriate” to comment in detail on a court proceeding.
Harry was seeking a judicial review – a legal challenge to the legality of decisions made by a public body – in September 2021, the statement said. His lawyers said they decided to release this information following a leak in the British press.
“Britain will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country where he wants his wife and children to be safe,” the statement said.
“With the lack of police protection comes too much personal risk. Prince Harry hopes his petition – after nearly two years of pleading for safety in the UK – will resolve this situation.”