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Home Office 'will not back down' in Prince Harry legal battle over police row

The Duke of Sussex has said he is unable to bring Meghan Markle, Archie and Lilibet back to the UK because it is too dangerous without police protection. Harry has filed a claim for a judicial review against the Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for the security for his family while in Britain.

But the Mail on Sunday reports that the Home Office is refusing to back down in the legal battle with the Duke, who is living in California after quitting royal duties.

A security source told the newspaper: “When Harry left The Firm the terms of his divorce were clear.

“Like other members of the public, he and his wife are not able to hire armed cops at will – no matter how much they offer to pay.”

The source added that police protection was “based on role and risk”.

They said the private security the Sussexes personally have in the US could not be replicated in the UK because “we don’t allow people to wander the street with guns here”.

The source added that “other minor royals manage to function in normal life without armed guards”.

They said: “The Home Office is refusing to blink.”

READ MORE: Harry’s strained relationship with Charles ‘thawing’

A legal representative for the Duke 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.

“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. 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 said that during Harry’s visit to the UK last summer his security was compromised “due to the absence of police protection”.

It is understood his car was chased by photographers as he left a WellChild charity event in Kew Gardens, west London, on June 30.

The representative added: “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.

“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. It is due to a leak in a UK tabloid, with surreptitious timing, we feel it necessary to release a statement setting the facts straight.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The UK Government’s protective security system is rigorous and proportionate. It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements. To do so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals’ security.

“It would also not be appropriate to comment on the detail of any legal proceedings.”

Representatives for the Sussexes have been contacted for further comment. The Home Office could not be contacted.



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