The Duke of Sussex has brought an action for judicial review against the Home Office’s decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.
Harry wants to bring his son Archie and young daughter Lilibet to visit from the United States, but he and his family “can’t go home” because it’s too dangerous, a legal representative said.
It follows an incident in London in the summer of 2021 when his safety was compromised after his car was chased by paparazzi photographers as he was leaving a charity event.
The duke wants to fund the security himself, rather than ask taxpayers to foot the bill, a legal representative for Harry said.
Harry argues that his private protection team in the US does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad and access to the UK intelligence needed to keep the Sussex family safe.
“The UK will always be home to Prince Harry and a country where he wants his wife and children to be safe,” the duke’s legal representative said in a statement to the PA news agency.
“With the lack of police protection, too great a personal risk arises.”
The representative added: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, but that security cannot replicate the police protection needed while in the UK.
“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family cannot return home.”
Lilibet, now seven months old, has yet to meet face-to-face with her great-grandmother the Queen, her grandfather the Prince of Wales and other family members.
The Duke briefly returned from Los Angeles last year for the July 1 unveiling of the memorial statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the day before, on June 30, he met seriously ill children and youth at a party at WellChild’s Garden and Afternoon Tea at Kew. Gardens, West London.
It is understood that the Duke’s car was followed by photographers as it was leaving.
Harry’s mother Diana was killed in a car accident after paparazzi chased her in Paris in 1997.
The legal representative added: “Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two combat tours of duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been the target of well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.
“Although his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the royal family has not. Nor does it threaten him and his family.”
The request for judicial review was filed in September.
Harry and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection after stepping down as royals.
Their security provision was one of the key issues when the couple announced that they wanted to step down in 2020.
Their website at the time suggested that the Home Office, through the Metropolitan Police, should continue to provide protection for the couple and their son Archie.
Harry and Meghan were forced to reveal that they had put in place “privately funded security arrangements” for their move to the US, after then-President Donald Trump said his country would not pay for their protection.
The Sussexes have signed multimillion-dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify, and the Duke told Oprah Winfrey he insured them to pay for their security.
The legal representative added: “The Duke first offered to personally pay for UK police protection for himself and his family in January 2020 at Sandringham. That offer was rejected.
“He remains willing to cover the cost of security, so as not to impose on the British taxpayer. As is well known, others who have left public office and are at inherent threat risk receive police protection at no cost to them.
“Prince Harry’s goal has been simple: to ensure his safety and that of his family while in the UK so that his children can learn about their home country.
“During his last visit to the UK in July 2021, to unveil a statue honoring his late mother, his safety was compromised due to the absence of police protection, while leaving a charity event.
“After another attempt at negotiation was also rejected, he applied for a judicial review in September 2021 to challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures, in the hope that this could be reassessed for the obvious and necessary protection required.”
Harry’s uncle, the Duke of York, faces calls to pay for his own security as the fallout from Andrew’s sexual assault civil case continues.