Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been planning a little trip to the UK with their kids, Archie and Lilibet, because every child of a former senior royal should see the place where their dad escaped from like the aristocratic British version of the Road Runner. For us regular folk, planning a trip to the UK is as simple as buying the cheapest airline tickets you can find online, booking a hotel room, and praying that “spotted dick” isn’t what it sounds like. For Harry and Meghan, it’s a little more complicated. Specifically, they have to arrange for a whole mess of security guards. That’s been an issue. Harry recently sent his lawyer to a preliminary hearing regarding his UK security, and he revealed he doesn’t feel that it’s safe to bring his family back to his homeland with the current security situation he’s facing.
When Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior royals, they lost several perks, one of which being a complimentary security team paid for by UK taxpayers. But they were okay with that because Harry and Meghan wanted everyone to know that they wanted independence in all forms, including the financial independence that would allow them to fork over their own money for security. The UK won’t provide Harry and Meghan security on the house, obviously, because he’s just a regular ol’ prince who happens to live in California now, even if he is still technically Queen Elizabeth’s grandson. Harry’s solution was to rent some police officers for their visit and pay out of pocket, but the UK wasn’t feeling that. So now, Harry has got his lawyers on it.
Harry’s lawyer spoke to the High Court in London earlier today on his behalf since he’s in California. They want the taxpayer-funded protection reinstated for Harry and Co.’s visit, simply because to show up without any protection could put Harry, Meghan, and those kids at risk. via People magazine:
“This claim is about the fact that the claimant does not feel safe when he is in the U.K. given the security arrangements that were applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him if he decides to come back. And, of course, it should go without saying that he wants to come back: to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart,” the lawyer added. “Most of all, this is, and always will be, his home.”
Harry’s lawyers also note that the security provided through the state would have a deeper level of intelligence than any other security he might obtain.
During the hearing, Harry’s lawyer referenced his recent visit to the UK in July to unveil a statue of his late mother, Princess Diana. Harry’s lawyer claims that after he left the unveiling, his car was chased through the streets by photographers. Harry had limited access to security, and it was just him in the UK at that time. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that UK tabloid photographers are creaming their scones at the thought of getting pictures of the whole family. Harry and Meghan have only released a handful of pictures of Archie, and the only picture of Lilibet was limited to their 2021 Christmas card.
People points out that the only royals who get 24-hour paid-for security are the Queen herself, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children. Other senior working royals only get comprehensive security if they’re working an event. Other royals like Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall, or Princess Beatrice, get zero state-funded security. So that would be why the UK government is fighting back so hard on Harry’s request.
I honestly have no idea how this debate will eventually be solved. Nobody wants to budge! I guess if Harry is fully denied that security he wants, he could always get a little creative with their visit. They could drive to Grandaddy Charles’ house in a nondescript wood-paneled minivan with some tinted windows, and stay indoors for the whole visit, thus denying paparazzi a single snap of their family. Yeah, it will inevitably get aggressively boring, and eventually, the kids will be suffering through re-runs of East Enders on Grampy’s couch, picking through the living room candy dish in an attempt to find a foil-wrapped hard strawberry. But I also know Harry and Meghan want their kids to have a regular childhood, and what’s more regular than that?