UK Government: Harry's Police Request Is 'Unmeritorious'

Prince wants to be able to personally pay for police protection when in the UK
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2022 11:36 AM CST
UK Government, Harry Tussle Over His Police Request
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks during the Global Citizen festival on Sept. 25, 2021 in New York.   (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah, File)

(Newser) – Lawyers for Prince Harry told a court hearing on Friday that the British royal is unwilling to bring his children to his homeland because it is not safe. Harry has launched a legal challenge to the UK government’s refusal to let him personally pay for police protection when he comes to Britain. His legal team says Harry wants to bring his children—Archie, who is almost 3, and 8-month-old Lilibet—to visit his home country from the United States but thinks it would be too risky without police protection, the AP reports. Harry, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, with the children and his wife, Meghan, did not attend Friday’s preliminary hearing.

Senior members of Britain’s royal family are given taxpayer-funded police protection, but Harry lost that when he and Meghan stepped down as working royals and moved to the US in 2020. The couple said their decision was due to what they described as unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, wants to be able to pay for the protection, saying his private security team in the US doesn’t have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information. Harry’s lawyer, Shaheed Fatima, told the hearing at the High Court in London the prince "does not feel safe when he is in the UK given the security arrangements applied to him."

"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," Fatima said. "Most of all, this is and always will be, his home." A lawyer representing the British government, Robert Palmer, called Harry’s claim "unarguable and unmeritorious." Palmer said in a written submission that Harry's offer to pay for police security was irrelevant because "personal protective security by the police is not available on a privately financed basis."

(Read more Prince Harry stories.)

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