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Police protection should not be for sale. Prince Harry has an outrageous cheek, demanding a full royal security detail to be reinstated when he visits the UK. 

For the Queen and her government to accede to his demand and set this precedent is unthinkable.

Harry is now a private citizen, domiciled in a foreign country – entirely by his own choice. None of the royals wanted this to happen, least of all his father and brother, but it has.

If he is granted the services of the Metropolitan’s royal protection squad, for which he has magnanimously offered to pay, every visiting Hollywood star and wealthy celebrity may as well expect the same privileges.

Britain would face the humiliating prospect of hiring out our highly trained and armed officers to any reality television narcissist or tinpot dictator’s children who can foot the bill.

Lawyers acting for Harry, who stepped down from Royal duties two years ago, have written a ‘pre-action protocol’ letter to the Home Office, indicating that they will seek a judicial review if the Sussexes are not provided with continued security while they are in Britain (Pictured, the Sussexes with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2018)

Lawyers acting for Harry, who stepped down from Royal duties two years ago, have written a ‘pre-action protocol’ letter to the Home Office, indicating that they will seek a judicial review if the Sussexes are not provided with continued security while they are in Britain (Pictured, the Sussexes with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2018)

Lawyers acting for Harry, who stepped down from Royal duties two years ago, have written a ‘pre-action protocol’ letter to the Home Office, indicating that they will seek a judicial review if the Sussexes are not provided with continued security while they are in Britain (Pictured, the Sussexes with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2018)

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Oprah Winfrey last March, one of their sensational claims was that their son Archie would not be given police protection because he was not made a prince. (Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019)

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Oprah Winfrey last March, one of their sensational claims was that their son Archie would not be given police protection because he was not made a prince. (Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019)

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Oprah Winfrey last March, one of their sensational claims was that their son Archie would not be given police protection because he was not made a prince. (Pictured: Archie, Meghan and Harry in Cape Town in 2019)

'Ever since I left the police 20 years ago, I have argued that the press didn’t kill Diana. The cause of that tragedy was the incompetence of security staff provided by the family of her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, who was killed with her, and the drunkenness of their chauffeur, Henri Paul, who also died in the crash', writes KEN WHARFE

'Ever since I left the police 20 years ago, I have argued that the press didn’t kill Diana. The cause of that tragedy was the incompetence of security staff provided by the family of her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, who was killed with her, and the drunkenness of their chauffeur, Henri Paul, who also died in the crash', writes KEN WHARFE

‘Ever since I left the police 20 years ago, I have argued that the press didn’t kill Diana. The cause of that tragedy was the incompetence of security staff provided by the family of her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, who was killed with her, and the drunkenness of their chauffeur, Henri Paul, who also died in the crash’, writes KEN WHARFE

The Duke of Sussex made a decision two years ago to leave the UK and live a new life with his wife on the other side of the Atlantic. 

He thought at first he would be able to keep one foot in the Royal Family, hanging on to his military honours and charity patronages as well as his status as His Royal Highness.

The Queen immediately disabused him of that fantasy. When he left, he knew the score. 

The statement he and Meghan issued yesterday made it clear he was also told in January 2020, at the family summit in Sandringham, he would not be permitted to ‘pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family’.

He cannot claim he was not told. For him now to be threatening legal action against the Government, and by extension against the Queen herself, is completely unprecedented for any royal, even one who has abdicated his official duties.

If his mother Princess Diana was still alive and a working royal, I imagine she would actually would back his demands – although persuasion, rather than threats of court action, was more her style. 

I expect that if he came back without protection, she would tell her own police protection officers to ‘go and look after Harry for a few days!’ – knowing that the palace would be obliged to send more to ensure she was never without security staff herself.

But then, if Diana was alive, this situation would not have arisen. Her influence would have prevented the breach between her sons. Without the benefit of his mother’s loving counsel, Harry has demonstrated an incredible insensitivity. I simply can’t fathom what he is thinking.

Prince Harry (front), Prince William (middle) with their mother Princess Diana (back) on holiday in Majorca, Spain in August 1987

Prince Harry (front), Prince William (middle) with their mother Princess Diana (back) on holiday in Majorca, Spain in August 1987

Prince Harry (front), Prince William (middle) with their mother Princess Diana (back) on holiday in Majorca, Spain in August 1987

He’s fully aware of all the difficulties Her Majesty must shoulder in this, her platinum jubilee year, which ought to be the crowning celebration of a lifetime of exceptional public service.

Her younger son Andrew is disgraced, stripped of his duties and facing a court case over sex allegations. She is grieving the death of her beloved husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, whom she buried last year.

And Harry has already done lasting damage to the fabric of the Royal Family, with the interview he and Meghan gave to Oprah Winfrey last year in which they alleged a senior royal made a racist remark about the skin colour of their unborn child.

Now he seems to think he can simply turn up in Britain and that royal protection can be turned back on like a tap. The only justification for armed protection by officers would be if the intelligence services have identified clear dangers to Harry and his family, from terrorists or other criminals while he is on British soil.

I am not convinced those dangers exist. Of course, if there is a credible threat, the police should without question guard against it – even if this means warning Harry he should not come to Britain.

But the only security issue during his most recent visit the country, as far as I am aware, came after a charity function when paparazzi photographers tried to get pictures of the Duke.

This is a free country. Press photographers are entitled to do their job, however much of a nuisance that might present to camera-shy celebrities.

Harry’s antipathy to the paparazzi is well documented. He holds them largely responsible for his mother’s death in a car crash at the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, Paris, in 1997.

The Duke of Sussex made a decision two years ago to leave the UK and live a new life with his wife on the other side of the Atlantic

The Duke of Sussex made a decision two years ago to leave the UK and live a new life with his wife on the other side of the Atlantic

The Duke of Sussex made a decision two years ago to leave the UK and live a new life with his wife on the other side of the Atlantic 

Ever since I left the police 20 years ago, I have argued that the press didn’t kill Diana. The cause of that tragedy was the incompetence of security staff provided by the family of her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, who was killed with her, and the drunkenness of their chauffeur, Henri Paul, who also died in the crash.

Harry does not need armed police to protect him from the paparazzi. He was given police protection for the funeral of Prince Philip, because that occasion was seen by the security services as a potential terrorist flashpoint.

But he did not have the same protection when, for the unveiling of his mother’s statue at Kensington Palace, he returned to Britain three months later. And that evidently rankles.

If he did not realise before, that visit will have taught him his private security staff are not automatically allowed access to UK intelligence. They also will not be given the freedom of royal palaces without the necessary clearance.

In short, it is next to impossible for independent security contractors to match the standards of police protection – and not just because they cannot provide those dramatic moments where motorcycle outriders surround a limousine like mounted knights.

No matter how entitled he and Meghan believe they are, no matter how much money they have banked since leaving the UK, they cannot reclaim what they threw away two years ago. Royalty doesn’t work like that.

No matter how entitled he and Meghan believe they are, no matter how much money they have banked since leaving the UK, they cannot reclaim what they threw away two years ago. Royalty doesn’t work like that.

No matter how entitled he and Meghan believe they are, no matter how much money they have banked since leaving the UK, they cannot reclaim what they threw away two years ago. Royalty doesn’t work like that.

In Britain, unlike America, it is illegal for anyone except police and the military to carry firearms. If Harry arrives in a private jet escorted by men with sunglasses and pistol holsters, they will have to surrender their guns immediately.

There do exist reciprocal arrangements with foreign heads of state, including the US president, which allow their bodyguards to carry guns.

But Harry is emphatically not an official representative of any government. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to shrug off any responsibilities of state.

And I’m sorry to say that, with those responsibilities go the privileges. Yet now he wants those privileges back.

No matter how entitled he and Meghan believe they are, no matter how much money they have banked since leaving the UK, they cannot reclaim what they threw away two years ago. Royalty doesn’t work like that.

Source: Daily Mail

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