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Prince Harry launching bid to get police protection in UK

Britain's Prince Harry attends the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021. Picture taken September 25, 2021. Picture: Reuters/Caitlin Ochs

Britain's Prince Harry attends the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021. Picture taken September 25, 2021. Picture: Reuters/Caitlin Ochs

Published Jan 16, 2022

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Prince Harry claims he cannot return to the UK unless he is given police protection and is seeking a judicial review to be allowed to foot the bill himself.

The 37-year-old prince - who, along with wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped back from royal duties two years ago and now lives in the US - is seeking a judicial review against a decision from the Home Office which prevents him from personally funding official security for himself and his family when he visits his home country.

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His spokesperson said: "Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.

"While his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK.

"In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home."

Harry - who has children Archie, two, and Lili, seven months, with Meghan - insisted he doesn't want to "impose on the British taxpayer" by having his security costs funded by the public, but his repeated offers to foot the bill himself have been rejected.

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The statement continued: "The Duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham.

"That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer.

"As is widely known, others who have left public office and have an inherent threat risk receive police protection at no cost to them.

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"The goal for Prince Harry has been simple – to ensure the safety of himself and his family while in the UK so his children can know his home country."

The representative insisted Harry has had no choice but to take legal steps to resolve the situation because he and his family do not feel safe in the UK without police bodyguards after the prince's visit in the summer to unveil a tribute to the late Princess Diana ended with his car reportedly being pursued by paparazzi.

The statement said: "During his last visit to the UK in July 2021 – to unveil a statue in honour of his late mother – his security was compromised, due to the absence of police protection, whilst leaving a charity event. After another attempt at negotiations was also rejected, he sought a judicial review 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.

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"The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in. With the lack of police protection, comes too great a personal risk.

"Prince Harry hopes that his petition – after close to two years of pleas for security in the UK – will resolve this situation."

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