Police will NOT protect Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during trip to Manchester

Are Harry and his family currently covered by security?

He and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, are personally funding a private protection team in the US for their family.

The Sussexes have signed multi-million pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, with Harry telling Oprah Winfrey he secured these to pay for his safety.

But he and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in the UK after quitting as senior working royals.

Why did they lose their taxpayer funded security?

Their safety precautions were a key issue when the couple announced they would step down in 2020.

Speaking to Winfrey during the couple’s sit-in interview in 2021, Harry said he was told that “due to our change of status, we would no longer be ‘official’ members of the royal family.”

He said he was shocked by this and “pushed back” on the issue, arguing there had been no change in the threat or risk to the couple.

Meghan recounted during the same interview how she had written to her husband’s family urging them “not to pull his security” but was told “it’s just not possible”.

At the time of announcing her retirement from royal life in 2020, her website suggested the Home Office, through the Metropolitan Police, should continue to provide protection for the couple and Archie, their only child at the time.

Have they offered to pay for police protection themselves in the UK?

Yes. Harry wants to fund the security himself rather than asking the taxpayer to foot the bill, his legal representative said.

He first offered to personally pay for police protection in the UK for himself and his family during the so-called Sandringham Summit in January 2020, but the legal representative said that offer was “rejected”.

The rep added that Harry “remains willing to pay security costs to avoid a burden on the UK taxpayer”.

Can they use the same security team they have in the US?

Harry’s legal representative said that while the couple personally fund a private security team for their family, “this security cannot replicate the necessary police protection required while in the UK”.

His argument is that the US team does not have adequate overseas jurisdiction or access to British intelligence information needed to protect the Sussex family.

So what is Harry doing now regarding the issue of his safety in the UK?

In September 2021, he submitted an application for judicial review after the Home Office ruled not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.

His legal team said this course of action was taken “after a further attempt at negotiation was also rejected”.

They said the offer of judicial review was an attempt “to challenge the decision-making behind safety procedures in the hope that this could be re-evaluated for the obvious and necessary protections needed”.

What threats does the couple face in the UK?

In a statement, the legal representative said: “He remains sixth in line to the throne, has served two combat duties in Afghanistan and in recent years his family has faced well-documented threats from neo-Nazis and extremists. While his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the royal family has not. Neither does the threat to him and his family.’

Has the Home Office said anything about the request for judicial review?

A Government spokesman said: “The UK Government’s protection regime is strict and proportionate. It is our longstanding policy not to provide detailed information on these agreements. This could jeopardize their integrity and affect the safety of people.

“Nor would it be appropriate to comment on the details of a court case.”

Will the couple return to the UK if the issue isn’t resolved the way they’d like?

A spokesman for the Duke said Prince Harry and his family will not be able to return to his home due to a lack of what they believe is the necessary protection.

They insisted that the UK “will always be Prince Harry’s homeland”, adding that it is “a country where he wants his wife and children to be safe”.

But they added: “With the lack of police protection comes too much personal risk.”

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Bradford Betz

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