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Why was Prince Harry denied police protection in the UK? Here’s everything you need to know


Prince Harry is determined to go to great lengths to protect his family when they visit the UK, even after his initial request for funding for police security was rejected. His lawyer made arguments before a London court on Tuesday, challenging the government’s decision and asking the Duke of Sussex’s permission to challenge the rejection.

British barrister Shahid Fatimah, who is representing Prince Harry, argued that the government had overstepped its authority and that the refusal contravened legislation allowing the provision of special police services for payment. Fatima noted, according to the Associated Press, that “Parliament has clearly decided, in principle, that paying the police is not contrary to the public interest.”

However, Robert Palmer, a lawyer for the government, responded that compensating the police for security on special occasions was different from using “police officers as private bodyguards for the wealthy”. He emphasized that the refusal was within the authority of the committee and put forward a political position.

Prince Harry initially applied for judicial review of the Home Office decision that barred him personally from paying police protection costs in September 2021. However, his application was made before the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022.

Prince Harry, who would like to fund the security measures himself, is currently relying on the US security team to protect his family. However, their jurisdiction does not extend overseas, and they do not have access to UK intelligence. The Duke of Sussex is expressing concerns about the safety of his young children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, nearly 2, during visits to his home country. Without proper police security.

A spokesperson for Prince Harry highlighted the disparity in treatment, noting that other public figures who face inherent threat risks receive police protection at no cost to themselves. Prince Harry’s goal has always been to ensure the safety of his family while he is in the UK so that his children can connect with their heritage. During his last visit in July 2021, his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection, which led to concerns about his and his family’s safety.

This latest court appearance adds to the six cases Prince Harry is awaiting, all of which revolve around two major issues: his security and allegations of phone hacking and the illegal acquisition of personal information by British tabloids.

The judge is expected to rule on Prince Harry’s request at a later date. The outcome will have significant implications for the Duke’s ability to provide adequate security for his family during their visits to the UK.

Also read: Will Meghan Markle join Prince Harry as he prepares for his visit to the UK again? Here’s what we know

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.