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The Sussexes

Prince Harry becomes first member of The Royal Family to take legal action against Her Majesty’s Government

The Duke of Sussex is taking legal action against the UK Government over a decision not to allow him to pay for police protection while he is in the UK.

Prince Harry is seeking a judicial review against the Home Office for not permitting him to have Metropolitan Police protection while in the UK. The prince says he is happy to fund that protection himself but that his offer has been refused.

It is understood that this is the first time a member of The Royal Family has ever threatened legal action against Her Majesty’s government.

Lawyers for Harry say that without police protection, it is too dangerous for him to come home and that the private security he has ”cannot replicate the necessary police protection whilst in the UK.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost their police protection when they stepped back as senior royals in 2020. The Duke says that his safety was ”compromised due to the absence of police protection, whilst leaving a charity event.” It is understood his car was chased by paparazzi photographers as he made his exit from an event for WellChild during a visit to London in the summer of 2021 where he also helped unveil a statue of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Following that incident, Prince Harry again asked to pay for police protection and following a second refusal, he sought a judicial review, an application in the High Court to challenge decisions made by government departments. It would be the first time in the modern era that a royal has taken a member of HM Government to court.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pay for their own security in the US where they live with their two children, Archie, 2, and Lili, 7 months. They revealed their private protection set up after the then American President, Donald Trump, said the US wouldn’t fund their security.

The statement from Prince Harry says”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. During his last visit to the UK in July 2021 – to unveil a statue in honour of his late mother – his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection, whilst leaving a charity event.

The UK government issued a statement, saying ‘“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.”

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