In a time that has probably rivalled the Queen’s infamous annus horribilis, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have added to Her Majesty’s stresses by launching a controversial legal fight in the High Court. The ex-royals shocked last week when it was revealed they are disputing a decision made by the government that says they are not allowed police protection when in the UK, even if they personally pay for it.
The 37 year old has argued that the security team he employs in California to protect himself, Meghan, and their two children – Archie, two, and seven-month-old Lilibet – would not have legal jurisdiction in the UK nor access to local intelligence. So they won’t come to the UK until he can guarantee their safety, despite none of his family having met Lilibet or seen Archie since he was a baby.
“Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life,” Harry’s team said in a statement. “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.”
Harry initially offered to pay for UK police protection for his family back in 2020 but the offer was rejected. He has argued that he is willing to pay for the protection so as not to “impose on the British taxpayer”. The statement concludes, “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.”
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The news was met with a lot of shock and anger, with many accusing them of “sheer arrogance” and a “lack of respect” towards the Queen. The only members of the royal family who get police protection are the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Royal commenters noted that while there is no denial that Harry and his family should be entitled to their safety, but that the Met Police are not for hire and if Harry was allowed to pay for protection, it would set a precedence for other celebrities to do the same. And a source close to the royals tells us the recent developments have riled up Prince William more than anyone.
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“William feels he’s been more than patient with The Sussexes, but they’re making a rod for their own backs by being so stubborn,” our source shares. “The fact of the matter is that they chose to leave the royal family, not the other way around, and as such they can’t demand Met Police officers when they don’t live here. The monarchy will, of course, do what it can to assist where it can, but for Harry to be making excuses and holding his hand out like this is just so unseemly.”
We’re told William is most concerned about the effect this may be having on their grandmother. “He sympathises with Harry’s insistence on defending his family, that’s not the issue here, it’s the way it’s all been handled and the impact all this stress is having on the Queen,” our insider explains. “It’s put her in a dreadful position right as she braces for her Jubilee celebrations and contends with the fallout from Andrew’s scandal. As usual the timing is just dreadful, especially since the 95 year old is still grieving the loss of Prince Philip and is at an age where stressful scenarios should be kept to an absolute minimum. William just feels awful for his grandmother, who’s desperate to see her great grandchildren plus Harry himself. It breaks their hearts.”