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Prince Harry in legal fight to pay for UK police protection

“The U.K. will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in,” his legal representative said.
/ Source: NBC News

Prince Harry is challenging the British government’s decision not to allow him to pay for his police protection when he returns to the U.K.

Harry wants to bring his two children, Archie and Lilibet, to the U.K. so they can “know his home country,” but it is too risky without proper police protection, his legal representative said in a statement by email Saturday.

Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have been living in California after they finalized their split from the royal family last year.

The statement said that Harry wanted to pay for the police protection himself, rather than make British taxpayers foot the bill, but that he was unable to do so unless the Home Office allowed him to.

Harry’s security was “compromised due to the absence of police protection” during a recent visit to the U.K. to unveil a statue in honor of his late mother, Princess Diana, the statement 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.,” the statement said.

“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home,” it said.

Harry, who is Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, “inherited a security risk at birth,” and his family has been subjected to “well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats” in recent years, the statement said, noting that other British figures who have left public office and have inherent threat risks get police protection at no cost.

Harry and Meghan lost publicly funded police protection in the U.K. when they stepped down as senior working royals and moved to the U.S. two years ago.

The couple's daughter, Lilibet Diana, who was born in June, has yet to meet her great-grandmother, the queen, and other members of the royal family.

“The U.K. will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in,” the statement said. “​​With the lack of police protection, comes too great a personal risk.”

As a result, Harry sought a judicial review in September to challengethe decision-making behind the security procedures, his representative said.

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The representative added that Harry had decided to make the information public because of a leak in the British tabloid media.

A government spokesperson said in an email that the U.K.'s protective security system was “rigorous and proportionate” and that it was long-standing policy not to provide detailed information about such arrangements.

The spokesperson also added that it would not be ​​appropriate to comment on the details of any legal proceedings.

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