Prince Harry “does not feel safe when he is in the U.K. given the security arrangements applied to him,” according to his lawyer, Shaheed Fatima. Harry’s legal team revealed this during a hearing at the High Court in London on Friday (Feb. 18), per the Associated Press. While Harry, 37, still views England as his home, he’s unwilling to bring his children – Archie, who is almost 3, and 8-month-old Lilibet – until a new security arrangement can be worked out.
Harry launched a legal challenge to the U.K. government’s refusal to let him personally pay for police protection when he and Megan Markle bring their family overseas. Senior members of the British royal family are given taxpayer-funded police protection, but Harry lost that when he and Megan stepped down from their positions within the family. Harry wants to pay for the protection himself, and he says that his private security team in the U.S. doesn’t have adequate jurisdiction of access to U.K. intelligence information, per A.P.
“It goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart,” Harry’s lawyer said during the hearing, one that Harry did not attend in person. “Most of all, this is and always will be, his home.”
Robert Palmer, a lawyer for the British government, called Harry’s claim “unarguable and unmeritorious,” adding that Harry’s request to pay for police security was irrelevant because “personal protective security by the police is not available on a privately financed basis.”
Harry’s concerns supposedly arose during his visit to the U.K. in July 2021, when he joined his brother, Prince William, to unveil the statue of their late mother, Princess Diana. Harry was reportedly chased by photographers as he left a charity event, a situation that harkens to the fatal paparazzi chase that took his mother’s life.
In September 2021, Harry sought a judicial review of the decision not to allow him police protection in the U.K. Prince Harry said that his family has been the subject of “well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats” and needs more than just private protection. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family,” the couple said in a January statement, “yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the U.K. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.”