Prince Harry wants more adequate security when he and his family are in the U.K. But, according to an expert, he’s not going to get the backing of a certain British royal, namely his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Harry wants police protection in the U.K. for him and his family
The Duke of Sussex relocated to California with his wife, Meghan Markle, in 2020. The move followed their January 2020 announcement they’d be stepping down as senior royals.
They bought a $14.7 million-dollar home in Montecito, California, where they live with their children, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. However, when they gave up their senior royal status Meghan and Harry had to pay for private security.
Harry has returned to the U.K. on multiple occasions since 2020 while Meghan, Archie, and Lili have not. The Duke of Sussex returned for Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021. Then again in July 2021 for Princess Diana’s statue unveiling.
Now Harry wants police protection for himself as well as Meghan, Archie, and Lili whenever they’re in the U.K. He said in a January 2022 statement released via a spokesperson his family doesn’t feel safe there.
In September 2021, Harry took legal action regarding his family’s security in the U.K. He filed to seek judicial review to have the opportunity to pay for police protection for his family. As it stands, Harry can only pay for private security services.
“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 while in the U.K.,” a spokesperson for Harry said in a statement. “In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.”
The spokesperson also noted Harry had unsuccessfully tried to negotiate personally paying for police protection “as not to impose on the British taxpayer.”
The spokesperson concluded the statement saying the “lack of police protection” brings with it “too great a personal risk.”
A royal expert says Queen Elizabeth won’t ‘go up against the government’ to support Harry’s security plea
Harry’s security concerns, most notably his push for police protection, put Queen Elizabeth in a tricky situation. She’s his grandmother but also the leader of the royal family.
“[It’s] hard for her, as a grandmother, to not really be able to intervene,” royal expert Kristin Contino told Us Weekly in January 2022.
“She’s [not] going to go up against the government and say, ‘Well, you know, you need to give him security,’” Contino added. “Because right now, the metropolitan police [are] saying they’ve conducted a review and [concluded that] the threat is considered low to him.”
The 95-year-old’s position as the head of the royal family puts her in “one of those situations” where she is “always going to choose [the] monarch at the end of the day,” the royal expert explained.
“People can see both sides in this situation,” she added before noting it’s unlikely royals will “go up against the government.”
It’s difficult to know what will happen after a decision’s been made on Harry’s security petition
At the time of writing, Harry’s security concerns have been publicly announced but no response has been issued regarding his judicial review filing. That means the courts haven’t decided whether or not to let Harry pay for U.K. police protection.
What will happen if his petition for additional security is denied? As Contino told the publication it’s difficult to say. Harry may continue traveling to the U.K. sans Meghan, Archie, and Lili. But ultimately it’s “really hard to say” how the Duke of Sussex will proceed once a decision’s been made.
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