Prince Harry told the High Court this week that the UK “is central to the heritage of my children and a place I want them to feel at home as much as where they live at the moment in the US.”
However, he claims that is not currently possible due to safety concerns that led him and Meghan Markle to step back from royal duties in 2020.
“It was with great sadness for both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country in 2020,” Harry said in a witness statement.
According to a report by Express, While not a choice they made lightly, Harry emphasized the move was necessary, stating: “I cannot put my wife in danger like that and, given my experiences in life, I am reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too.”
Harry’s barrister Shaheed Fatima argued that the 2020 decision to cease the Duke’s automatic right to personal police protection when visiting the UK was “unlawful and unfair.” She maintained that the risk Harry faces “arises from his birth and ongoing status” as the son of the King.
While Harry himself has returned to the UK on occasion, including for the Queen’s funeral in September, he is concerned that it is not safe for Meghan and their children Archie and Lilibet to do the same without guaranteed security.
“The UK is my home,” Harry proclaimed. “That cannot happen if it’s not possible to keep them safe when they are on UK soil.”
Citing the sensitive nature of the evidence in Harry’s legal challenge against the Home Office, Mr Justice Lane issued a privacy order for the majority of the three-day hearing to be conducted behind closed doors.
Lane acknowledged that “the material that needs to be protected in the interests of justice is very tightly entangled with less sensitive details required for the court to properly determine the claim.”
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams suggests that Harry likely “wants to avoid media coverage of security details that he believes may threaten his family’s safety.”
While the public remains largely in the dark on the specifics, Harry’s goal is clear: to reinstate the taxpayer-funded security he feels is owed to his family when visiting his British homeland.
Despite Harry’s professed desire for his children to call the UK home, royal expert Kinsey Schofield predicts that the Sussexes will likely “remain distant from the UK” even if Harry wins the legal battle.
“It seems that ship has sailed and the bridge has been burned,” Schofield opined. “Harry knows his family will never feel safe setting foot on British soil after multiple security breaches.”
Even in victory, the scars of the past may prevent the Prince from truly considering London home again anytime soon. The Home Office stripped Harry’s security upon his exit from royal life, a move the Duke considered unfair given his lifetime of service and enduring status as a high-value target.
“Harry is fighting for the principle more than the reality of his family residing part-time in the UK,” royal journalist Omid Scobie weighed in. “But this battle has only added more tension to an already strained relationship with the institution.”
While Harry emphasizes his deep connection to Britain, his ongoing court battle is costing UK taxpayers dearly. One report estimates Harry’s bid to restore his security could ultimately cost upwards of £1 million.
Critics argue that bill should fall to the Prince himself given his independent wealth and choice to leave behind royal responsibilities. However, Harry maintains the risk stems from his birthright rather than any decisions of his own making.
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