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Prince Harry launches legal action against Government claiming it is ‘unsafe’ for family to return

Prince Harry is taking legal action against the Government over its decision to remove his UK police security and claimed it is ‘unsafe’ for his family to return to the UK without it, the Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Lawyers acting for Harry, who stepped down from Royal duties two years ago, have written a ‘pre-action protocol’ letter to the Home Office, indicating that they will seek a judicial review if the Sussexes are not provided with continued security while they are in Britain – which they make clear he is happy to pay for.

In a statement issued on the prince’s behalf references the fact that others who have left public office, as Prince Harry did two years ago, have still received police protection. 

If the case proceeds, it will lead to a battle in the High Court between Ministers and Prince Harry.

Harry wants to bring his son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet to visit from the US, but he and his family are ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is too dangerous, a legal representative said.

It follows an incident in London in the summer of 2021 when his security was compromised after his car was chased by paparazzi photographers as he left a charity event.

The duke wants to fund the security himself, rather than ask taxpayers to foot the bill, a legal representative for Harry said.

The statement said: ‘As is widely known, others who have left public office and have an inherent threat risk receive police protection at no cost to them.’ 

Harry is arguing his private protection team in the US does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information which is needed keep the Sussex family safe.

‘The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in,’ the legal representative for the duke said in a statement.

‘With the lack of police protection, comes too great a personal risk.’

The representative added: ‘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 Queen is understood to have been made aware of her grandson’s action, which is thought to be the first time a member of the Royal Family has brought a case against Her Majesty’s Government.

A source told the Mail on Sunday: ‘Harry’s argument in a nutshell is: “You got the law wrong.” He feels the decision to remove his security was wrong. Pre-action protocol was sent by Harry’s lawyers to the Home Office a couple of months ago. This is essentially a precursor to a judicial review.’

Prince Harry is taking legal action against the Government over its decision to remove his security, The Mail on Sunday can reveal (Above, Harry and Meghan with bodyguards in New Zealand in 2018)

Lawyers acting for Harry, who stepped down from Royal duties two years ago, have written a ‘pre-action protocol’ letter to the Home Office, indicating that they will seek a judicial review if the Sussexes are not provided with continued security while they are in Britain (Pictured, the Sussexes with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2018)

Lawyers acting for Harry, who stepped down from Royal duties two years ago, have written a ‘pre-action protocol’ letter to the Home Office, indicating that they will seek a judicial review if the Sussexes are not provided with continued security while they are in Britain (Pictured, the Sussexes with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2018)

Lilibet, who is now seven months, has yet to meet her great-grandmother the Queen, grandfather the Prince of Wales and other members of the family face to face.

The duke briefly returned from LA last year for the July 1 unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial statue, and, the day before, on June 30, he met seriously ill children and young people at a WellChild garden party and afternoon tea in Kew Gardens, west London.

It is understood the duke’s car was chased by photographers as he left.

Harry’s mother Diana died in a car crash after she was chased by the paparazzi in Paris.

Lack of protection stops us coming to UK, says the Duke of Sussex: Statement in full 

The full statement issued by a legal representative of Prince Harry late last night after the MoS broke the story about his legal action:

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.

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.

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.

The legal representative added: ‘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 bid for a judicial review was filed in September.

Harry and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in the aftermath of quitting as senior working royals.

Their security provision was one of the key issues when the couple announced they wanted to step down in 2020.

Their website at the time suggested the Home Office, through the Metropolitan Police, should continue to provide protection for the couple and their son Archie.

Harry and Meghan were forced to disclose they had put in place ‘privately funded security arrangements’ for their move to the US, after then president Donald Trump said his country would not pay for their protection.

The Sussexes have signed multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, with the duke telling Oprah Winfrey he secured these to pay for his security.

The legal representative added: ‘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.

‘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.’

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.’

Harry’s uncle the Duke of York is facing calls to pay for his own security as the fallout from Andrew’s civil sex assault case continues.

Late last night, after the story broke in early editions of the Mail on Sunday, the Prince’s lawyers issued their extraordinary statement defending his decision to sue the British Government – and insisting he would not rely on taxpayers to fund his family’s security.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had earlier been contacted by the MoS for comment, but did not respond before it went to press.  

Suggesting why Harry may have chosen now – two years after 'Megxit' – to launch his legal bid, the source added: 'When Harry came back last April for Prince Philip's funeral [above], he was given security. But when he came back in the summer, he wasn't'

Suggesting why Harry may have chosen now – two years after ‘Megxit’ – to launch his legal bid, the source added: ‘When Harry came back last April for Prince Philip’s funeral [above], he was given security. But when he came back in the summer, he wasn’t’

The legal action was sparked after Harry’s most recent trip to the UK in July, when his police protection had been removed.

A source said: ‘When Harry came back last April for Prince Philip’s funeral, he was given security. But when he came back in the summer, he wasn’t.’ 

Ahead of the funeral, Harry travelled to Britain with his private security team, but was met on the tarmac at Heathrow by Scotland Yard protection officers.

It is understood that was not the case when he returned to the UK for the unveiling of a statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace with his brother William in July. 

Following a 20-minute reception after the unveiling, Harry left with bodyguards thought to have been provided at his own expense.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made no secret of their unhappiness at the removal of their taxpayer-funded security.

The couple were living in Canada – guarded by publicly funded British UK and Canadian security – when ‘Megxit’ was announced in January 2020.

At the same time, the security section of their new website – on which they detailed their notion of a ‘new working model’ – described them as ‘internationally protected people’.

But the ‘working model’ had not been agreed by the Queen and the section was swiftly removed. 

Following crisis talks at Sandringham, it was eventually agreed that the Sussexes would no longer use their ‘HRH’ titles and Harry was stripped of his military honours.

Meanwhile, a ‘Royal and VIP Executive Committee’ comprising the Home Secretary, the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection command chief and palace officials decided that the couple’s 24-hour protection could not continue given they were no longer working Royals living in Britain.

That decision clearly rankled with Harry, who used the bombshell TV interview with US chat-show host Oprah Winfrey last March to express his anger.

 He said: ‘The biggest concern was that while we were in Canada, in someone else’s house, I then got told at short notice security was going to be removed… Their justification is a change in status, of which I pushed back and said, ‘Well, is there a change of threat or risk?’

‘And after many weeks of waiting, eventually I got the confirmation that no, the risk and threat hasn’t changed but [it was] due to our change in status, [by] which we would no longer be official working members of the Royal Family.’ 

He added: ‘My family literally cut me off financially and I had to afford security for us.’ 

Ms Winfrey said the couple were not paid for the interview, but Harry had, by then, received a reported £500,000 fee to give a keynote speech to J P Morgan bankers in Miami. Before moving into their nine-bedroom, £10 million home in Montecito, California, they were given the use of a mansion owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry, who also provided the couple with security. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made no secret of their unhappiness at the removal of their security. The couple were living in Canada – guarded by publicly funded British UK and Canadian security – when 'Megxit' was announced in January 2020. (Above, Harry and Meghan in Manhattan in September 2021 after visiting the 9/11 memorial pools)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made no secret of their unhappiness at the removal of their security. The couple were living in Canada – guarded by publicly funded British UK and Canadian security – when ‘Megxit’ was announced in January 2020. (Above, Harry and Meghan in Manhattan in September 2021 after visiting the 9/11 memorial pools)

Following crisis talks at Sandringham, it was eventually agreed that the Sussexes would no longer use their 'HRH' titles and Harry was stripped of his military honours. (Pictured, Harry and Meghan in New York City last year)

Following crisis talks at Sandringham, it was eventually agreed that the Sussexes would no longer use their ‘HRH’ titles and Harry was stripped of his military honours. (Pictured, Harry and Meghan in New York City last year)

The Queen

Prince Harry

The Queen is understood to have been made aware of her grandson’s action, which is thought to be the first time a member of the Royal Family has brought a case against Her Majesty’s Government

Ahead of Prince Philip's funeral, Harry travelled to Britain with his private security team, but was met on the tarmac at Heathrow by Scotland Yard protection officers. It is understood that was not the case when he returned to the UK for the unveiling of a statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace with his brother William in July (above)

Ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral, Harry travelled to Britain with his private security team, but was met on the tarmac at Heathrow by Scotland Yard protection officers. It is understood that was not the case when he returned to the UK for the unveiling of a statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace with his brother William in July (above)

Meghan told Ms Winfrey: ‘We needed a house and he offered security as well, so it gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do.’

Harry’s decision to instruct his lawyers to take legal action against the Government could inflame tensions with his family.

It also provides a further headache for the Queen only days after she stripped Prince Andrew of his military honours and charity patronages after a US judge ruled that a claim of sex abuse made against him – and vehemently denied – would proceed. 

Before moving into their nine-bedroom, £10 million home in Montecito, California, the Sussexes were given the use of a mansion (above) owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry, who also provided the couple with security

Before moving into their nine-bedroom, £10 million home in Montecito, California, the Sussexes were given the use of a mansion (above) owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry, who also provided the couple with security

Like Harry, Andrew will no longer use his ‘HRH’ title. The Queen’s second son could also lose his security, estimated to cost £2 million annually. Princess Anne and Prince Edward receive protection only when they are conducting royal duties.

During a previous review of security spending in 2011, Andrew’s daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie – then fifth and sixth in line to the Throne – had their police protection removed on the grounds they were non-working Royals.

If Harry wins his case, any ‘remedy’ or solution would be at the discretion of the judge. The legal battle could be expensive, with the loser likely to have to pay the costs of the winner as well as their own. The Sussexes, however, have secured a string of lucrative deals, including a reported £18 million agreement with streaming giant Spotify and a partnership with Netflix.

A Government spokesman said last night: ‘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.’ 

It also provides a further headache for the Queen only days after she stripped Prince Andrew of his military honours and charity patronages after a US judge ruled that a claim of sex abuse made against him – and vehemently denied – would proceed

It also provides a further headache for the Queen only days after she stripped Prince Andrew of his military honours and charity patronages after a US judge ruled that a claim of sex abuse made against him – and vehemently denied – would proceed

Are fears for the safety of Archie and Lilibet behind demands?

By KATE MANSEY for the Mail on Sunday

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Oprah Winfrey last March, one of their sensational claims was that their son Archie would not be given police protection because he was not made a prince.

‘Behind closed doors we knew I was pregnant… And that was when [the family] were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or princess – and that he wasn’t going to receive security,’ Meghan claimed.

She added: ‘Look, because if he’s not going to be a prince, it’s like, OK, well he needs to be safe, so we’re not saying don’t make him a prince or a princess – whatever it’s going to be – but if you’re saying the title is what’s going to affect their protection, we haven’t created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder.

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Oprah Winfrey last March, one of their sensational claims was that their son Archie would not be given police protection because he was not made a prince. (Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019)

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Oprah Winfrey last March, one of their sensational claims was that their son Archie would not be given police protection because he was not made a prince. (Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019)

Now, of course, the Sussexes have two children and Harry will be keen to ensure the protection of Archie, two, and Lilibet Diana, who turns one on the Queen's Jubilee celebration weekend in June. But a royal title would not necessarily guarantee 24-hour police protection paid for by the British taxpayer. (Above, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed the first photo of their daughter Lilibet Diana, six months after she was born, in their family Christmas card)

Now, of course, the Sussexes have two children and Harry will be keen to ensure the protection of Archie, two, and Lilibet Diana, who turns one on the Queen’s Jubilee celebration weekend in June. But a royal title would not necessarily guarantee 24-hour police protection paid for by the British taxpayer. (Above, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed the first photo of their daughter Lilibet Diana, six months after she was born, in their family Christmas card)

‘You’ve allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe. There was a lot of fear surrounding it,’ Meghan said.

‘I was very scared of having to offer up our baby, knowing that they weren’t going to be kept safe.’

Now, of course, the Sussexes have two children and Harry will be keen to ensure the protection of Archie, two, and Lilibet Diana, who turns one on the Queen’s Jubilee celebration weekend in June. 

But a royal title would not necessarily guarantee 24-hour police protection paid for by the British taxpayer.

Princess Anne, who last year carried out 387 official engagements – the highest number of any Royal – has publicly funded police protection only while she is on official duties. The same applies to her brother Prince Edward. 

The most senior members of the Royal Family and the Government do receive automatic protection from Scotland Yard, but a joint government committee authorises protection for other individuals such as former Prime Ministers and former Northern Ireland secretaries.

While Harry has stepped back from Royal duties, signed lucrative deals and moved to the United States, supporters would likely point out that his career in the Armed Forces, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan, as well as his status as a member of the Windsor family, make him and his family potential targets for terrorists.

SARAH VINE: Prince Harry, if you still want security for the family, get your mates at Netflix to shell out for it

By SARAH VINE for the Mail on Sunday 

Prince Harry does pick his moments, doesn’t he? Just in case the Queen had temporarily forgotten about the nightmare that he and the Duchess of Sussex have visited upon her in recent months, here he is to remind her that, whatever other pressing issues she might have on her plate, it’s all about HIM.

What a whining, pathetic bore this man has become.

What an entitled, tedious little ingrate.

Not content with trashing his family, splashing his grievances all over the world’s front pages and kicking his 95-year-old granny when she’s down, he’s now demanding that she – and the British taxpayer – stump up for the privilege.

Prince Harry does pick his moments, doesn't he? Just in case the Queen had temporarily forgotten about the nightmare that he and the Duchess of Sussex have visited upon her in recent months, here he is to remind her that, whatever other pressing issues she might have on her plate, it's all about HIM, writes Sarah Vine

Prince Harry does pick his moments, doesn’t he? Just in case the Queen had temporarily forgotten about the nightmare that he and the Duchess of Sussex have visited upon her in recent months, here he is to remind her that, whatever other pressing issues she might have on her plate, it’s all about HIM, writes Sarah Vine

Let’s be in no doubt: it was Harry and Meghan’s own decision to leave behind their Royal trappings in search of a different life in America. Theirs and theirs alone.

And while they may delude themselves that they were forced into exile by an ungrateful nation insufficiently appreciative of their gracious presence, the truth is they really didn’t have to go.

They went because it suited their purpose, and because their ambitions exceeded what they saw as the parochial, limiting confines of dear old Blighty.

They went because they had convinced themselves that they were being poorly treated, when in fact they had every opportunity to make a success of things. They just couldn’t be bothered to try.

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Let’s be in no doubt: it was Harry and Meghan’s own decision to leave behind their Royal trappings in search of a different life in America. Theirs and theirs alone

Which is fair enough – it’s their life after all, their choice. But own it. Instead, they’ve spent the past two years blaming everyone else.

When it was not other people’s approach towards them that caused all their problems in the first place, it was their appalling attitude and their determination to see the slightest criticism as an act of aggression.

Anyone who treated them with anything other than total sycophancy – even within the ranks of their own family and advisers – became an enemy.

Truth is, we all adored them both until they started acting like a pair of woke evangelists, lecturing the world about how people should behave while demonstrating spectacular levels of hypocrisy and arrogance.

Hopping on private jets when it suited them while going on about climate change; luxuriating in the generosity of the British taxpayer and the trappings of their Royal standing while refusing to play their part with anything other than resentment and rancour; abandoning their duties for the sake of a life without responsibility (but with a newfound opportunity to trade on their titles and status to secure lucrative deals abroad for spilling the Royal beans).

Not content with trashing his family, splashing his grievances all over the world's front pages and kicking his 95-year-old granny when she's down, he's now demanding that she – and the British taxpayer – stump up for the privilege

Not content with trashing his family, splashing his grievances all over the world’s front pages and kicking his 95-year-old granny when she’s down, he’s now demanding that she – and the British taxpayer – stump up for the privilege

They cast themselves as ‘victims’ at every turn, refusing to accept their own part in this tedious and never-ending drama.

Fact is, they lost their taxpayer-funded security protection because they chose to relinquish their Royal status and move halfway across the world to the sunny uplands of California.

Why should the British people continue to pay for two people who want nothing to do with Britain or our Royal Family?

If someone quits their job for more money and better perks, then badmouths their previous employer all over town, they can’t also demand they keep their old company credit card, can they?

And yet that’s essentially what Harry is asking for. If you want security, Harry, get your new mates at Netflix to pay for it. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to stump up in exchange for another no holds barred moan-a-thon about the wicked folks back home.

The fact that he is choosing to embark on this course of action in such an aggressive way and through legal channels at a time of great difficulty for the Queen is just the last straw as far as I’m concerned.

Proof, if proof were needed, that Prince Harry really has become the kind of fellow who would sue his own grandmother for the sake of a quick buck.

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