Prince Harry files court claim over UK police protection
In this Jan. 16, 2020 file photo , Prince Harry arrives in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
Sylvia Hui, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, January 16, 2022 7:34AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 16, 2022 3:00PM EST
LONDON (AP) - Prince Harry has filed a claim for a judicial review against the British government's decision not to let him personally pay for police protection while in the U.K.
The Duke of Sussex's legal representative said Saturday that Harry wants to bring his children Archie and Lilibet to visit his home country from the U.S. but that is too risky without police protection.
The representative said Harry wanted to fund the police protection himself. His private security team in the U.S. doesn't have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to U.K. intelligence information, they said.
“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 U.K.,” a statement said.
“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.”
The claim to a judicial review was filed in September to challenge the British government's decision-making behind the security procedures.
Harry and his wife Meghan lost publicly funded police protection in the U.K. when they stepped down as senior working royals and moved to North America in 2020. The couple said their decision was due to what they described as unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.
The couple first went to Canada before settling in the United States. They stated that they privately funded security for their move to the U.S. after then President Donald Trump said his government wouldn't pay for their protection.
The statement said Harry's security was “compromised due to the absence of police protection” during a short visit to the U.K. in July, when his car was chased by photographers as he left a charity event.
Harry and Meghan's 7-month-old daughter Lilibet has yet to meet her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and other members of the royal family.
The statement said Harry first offered to personally pay for U.K. police protection for himself and his family in January 2020, during talks with the queen over the Sussexes' future. The offer was “dismissed,” the statement said.
“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,” it said. “The UK will always be Prince Harry's home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in.”
Britain's government said its security system is “rigorous and proportionate” and declined to comment on details. It also said it was inappropriate to comment on any legal proceedings.