Prince Harry security row is ‘head-scratcher’ as Sussexes ‘face very real threats’

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PRINCE HARRY is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the Home Office over his security while visiting the UK, and some royal commentators have dubbed the case a “head-scratcher”, claiming that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “face real threats”.

Back in January, it emerged that the Duke had applied for a judicial review regarding a previous Home Office decision, which means he is unable to personally fund police protection for his family while in England.

A statement, which was issued at the time, read: “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.”

Prince Harry / Harry and Meghan

Prince Harry is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the Home Office. (Image: Getty Images)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan and Harry now reside in the US. (Image: Getty Images)

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Harry has previously claimed that it is unsafe for him and his family to return to the UK without police protection.

Last month, the prince was granted permission to bring a High Court challenge against the Home Office over his security arrangements in the UK.

Soon after, it emerged that a second lawsuit had been filed by Harry at the High Court with the Home Office and also the Metropolitan Police as defendants.

It is understood it focuses on the decision that people cannot pay privately for police protection.

Now, royal commentators, Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito, have described the case as a “head-scratcher,” arguing that Harry and Meghan “face real threats” and should have security, particularly because of Prince Andrew — another non-working royal whose taxpayer-funded security was recently assessed.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the UK for the Platinum Jubilee in June. (Image: Getty Images)

Speaking during the latest episode of their podcast Royally Obsessed, Ms Bowie said: “When this announcement came, I thought about Harry’s security.

“As I reminder, he went to the WellChild Awards —that were outdoor because of Covid — a year ago and that was a big impetus for this security lawsuit that he has launched.

“That was when he exited [the event], he didn’t have police protection and he was chased by paparazzi.”

Ms Fiorito noted that a recent decision allows Prince Andrew to keep his security, which costs between “$600,000 (£507,000) and $3.6million (£3m) to the taxpayer per year”.

She said: “Meanwhile, Harry’s case is still under review. I think that’s where it’s a head-scratcher…

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew will keep his taxpayer-funded security. (Image: Getty Images)

Last week, it was reported that Andrew will keep his state-funded police bodyguards following a review of his security arrangements.

The Duke of York’s Metropolitan Police and Home Office security detail was assessed after the Queen stripped her second son of his military affiliations and royal patronages, and removed his HRH (His Royal Highness) title.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the Royal and VIP Executive Committee concluded that Andrew was still entitled to round-the-clock police protection.

He will still be accompanied by a personal protection officer whenever he leaves his home and permanent security arrangements are in place at his residence — Royal Lodge on the Queen’s Windsor estate.

The decision was made after Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew on three occasions when she was just 17 and brought a legal case against him in the US.

In February, Andrew agreed to a financial settlement with Ms Giuffre, but this was not an admission of guilt and the Duke has always vehemently denied the claims.

Ms Fiorito said: “Harry has offered to pay for it [his police protection while in the UK] himself, he’s not even asking for the taxpayer to pay for it anymore, he’s just offering to pay for it himself.”

Noting that Harry will be the “son of the next king,” Ms Bowie and Ms Fiorito questioned why Harry and Meghan are not able to pay for their own protection, given that they “face very real threats”.

Prince Charles and Prince Harry

Harry is the younger son of Prince Charles, who will one day be named King. (Image: Getty Images)

Writing for Yahoo News last week, Mr Scobie said: “While covering Harry and Meghan’s time as working royals, I was made aware of the astonishingly high number of threats sent to the couple — the majority received from UK locations and many of them rooted in racism towards the duchess.

“It’s no different today. Sources tell me that during the Sussex family’s visit for the Platinum Jubilee (which they were given state security for as it was an official royal event), a number of credible threats were intercepted by authorities.”

Ms Fiorito and Ms Bowie speculated that Harry must have some sort of “contingency plan of his own” to feel safe enough to travel to the UK in September.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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