PRINCE Harry today moaned he was “forced to leave” his UK home as he waged a battle over his security.
The Duke of Sussex is challenging the decision to downgrade his publicly-funded security detail after he quit as a working royal in 2020.
Prince Harry said he was forced to ‘step back’ from royal duties for life in the USCredit: AFP
Harry added he left the UK to protect his wife Meghan Markle and their childrenCredit: Alexi Lubomirski
The Royal and VIP Executive Committee (Ravec) decided he should no longer have the same level of security as senior royals.
But his legal team say there was a lack of transparency, and the usual risk analysis was not applied.
In a statement read out in the High Court today, Harry said he felt forced to leave the UK after the security downgrade.
He said: “It was with great sadness to both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country in 2020.
“The UK is my home. 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 United States.
“That cannot happen if there is no possibility to keep them safe when they are on UK soil.
“I can’t put my wife in danger like that, and given my experiences in life I’m reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too.”
Harry was not in court, and the statement was read out on his behalf.
At a hearing today, the duke’s barrister Shaheed Fatima KC said Harry did not accept that it was a “choice” for him to have stopped being a “full time working member of the royal family”.
Earlier the lawyer said Ravec should have considered the wider impact on the UK’s reputation should he be attacked.
She said: “It failed to treat the claimant in the way it has treated others.
“It failed to tell the claimant how he was being treated and why.”
The Duke was “singled out” by the body, which “acted irrationally”, the court heard.
However, the Home Office says he was given a “bespoke” treatment appropriate for his unique circumstances.
Sir James Eadie KC told the court: “As a result of the fact that he would no longer be a working member of the Royal Family, and would be living abroad for the majority of the time, his position had materially changed.
“In those circumstances, protective security would not be provided on the same basis as before.”
The Duke’s team says his private security reported issues to the Met after he was “interdicted by paparazzi” at a WellChild event in 2021.
But Sir James said details were not provided within the required 28-day notice period.
He added that the Duke “is now aware of the importance of providing notice and has generally provided an intended itinerary”.
Meghan and Harry stepped back from royal duties in March 2020 when they moved to the United States.
However, their original statement did not say they were forced out – but rather they chose to leave.
It read: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”
Queen Camilla, King Charles, William and Kate pictured at a function this weekCredit: AFP