Prince Harry seeks police protection for UK visit

Britain’s Prince Harry is challenging a government decision that he should not receive police protection when on British soil, even if he covers the cost himself, his legal representatives say.

Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Harry and his American wife Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020 to carve out new careers in Los Angeles. Subsequently, the couple has relied on a private security team.

However, his legal representatives said these arrangements did not give the prince the level of protection he needed while visiting Britain.

“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return home,” the statement said. He cited an incident in July 2021 where they said his safety had been compromised while leaving a charity event due to a lack of police protection.

Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a car accident in 1997 while trying to escape paparazzi photographers.

The government previously rejected two offers to pay for police protection, the prince’s lawyers said. A spokesman said the process behind those decisions had been opaque and inconsistent and did not consider all risks.

When asked about the statement, a government spokesman said the UK government’s security system of protection was “rigorous and proportionate”, and that its long-standing policy was not to provide detailed information on any settlement, as this could compromise the safety of people.

The spokesman also said it would be “inappropriate” to comment in detail on any legal proceedings.

Harry requested a judicial review, a legal challenge to the legality of decisions made by a public body, in September 2021, according to the statement. His lawyers said they had decided to make the information public because of a leak in the British press.

“The UK will always be the home of Prince Harry and a country where he wants his wife and children to be safe,” the statement said.

“The lack of police protection carries too great a personal risk. Prince Harry hopes his request, after almost two years of pleading for safety in the UK, will resolve this situation.”

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