Prince Harry has filed a claim for a judicial review against the Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for his family while in the UK. The Duke of Sussex, who stepped back from royal duties in January 2020, wants to bring his wife Meghan Markle, son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet to visit from the US, but has alleged that he and his family are "unable to return" because it is too dangerous.
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In a statement, a legal representative claimed that Harry "first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham" but that the "offer was dismissed". He has since requested again police protection paid out of his own pockets, but it has been denied, and he is now asking for a judicial review of the decision.
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"The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in,” the legal representative for the duke said in a statement.
"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.
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"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."
A Government spokesperson said: "The UK Government’s protective security system is rigorous and proportionate. It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements. To do so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals’ security. It would also not be appropriate to comment on the detail of any legal proceedings."
This is the first image Prince Harry and Meghan have released of their daughter Lilibet
A judicial review sees a judge review the way in which a decision has been made by a public body or government department.
The court will not re-make the decision but if the claimant wins, the decision can be declared unlawful, or quashed, and the case will be reviewed.
The public body could reach the same decision again.
Harry is demanding a review of the decision
Harry's last visit to the UK was in July 2021 to unveil a long-awaited statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, at Kensington Palace.
He also attended a charity event and his security was compromised after the event with his car was chased by paparazzi, allegedly due to the absence of police protection.
Lilibet, who is now seven months, has yet to meet her great-grandmother the Queen, grandfather the Prince of Wales and other members of the family face to face.
Meghan has not returned since they left in 2020
It is thought that Harry wants to return to reunite with the royal family to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June. A series of celebratory events will take place this summer as well as an extra Bank Holiday.
Lilibet's first birthday will also coincide with the same weekend as celebrations for the Queen's Jubilee, as she turns one on 4 June.
The couple finally released the first photograph of their baby girl as part of their 2021 Christmas card.
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