Prince Harry stepped down as a senior royal in 2020 along with his wife, Meghan Markle. The couple has since moved to California, and the United Kingdom no longer provides them with police protection.
However, Harry has been asking his home country’s government to let him personally pay for these security officers on his own. If he can pay for them, how much money would the Duke of Sussex have to shell out?
Prince Harry has been trying to pay for police protection in the U.K.
Harry has been applying to pay for police protection when he visits the U.K., but his request has been denied. On Jan. 15, 2022, a spokesperson shared in a statement that the duke had filed for judicial review in response to a Home Office’s decision.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
The spokesperson went on to say that Harry and Meghan currently are paying for private security for themselves. However, “that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed while in the UK.” As an example, the statement claimed that Harry’s security “was compromised” when he visited England in July 2021.
Because of this, Harry and Meghan allegedly have been “unable to return” to the U.K.
How much would Prince Harry have to spend?
Expert Richard Aitch, who is the director of Mobius International Security, recently gave an estimate of what Harry and Meghan might have to pay in order to get police protection.
“It’s very difficult to put a figure exactly on it,” Aitch told Us Weekly. “The cost for a personal protection officer from the [Metropolitan Police] has been estimated to be around £100,000 a year.”
However, this does not include other expenses, such as flights and accommodations abroad for these security officers. Additionally, if the Sussexes need their two young children protected as well, that could influence the cost.
Aitch stated, “What may appear as a wish on paper is far more in reality, and the costs can certainly be quite huge.”
An expert criticized Prince Harry for wanting police protection
Some royal experts have criticized Harry’s decision to fight for police protection. For example, Dai Davies, a former Metropolitan Police chief superintendent, gave insights into why the U.K. government denied Harry’s request.
“If they want to be royals and they want to carry on doing royal business, then yes, if there is a risk, but over the years, royalty protection and the Home Office and others have got reasonably good at making sure that the risk assessment is carried out thoroughly, in conjunction with the other security agents dictated [by the] threat assessment centre,” Davies said, according to Mail Plus.
He added, “There’s nothing new in the police and the security system carrying out a proper survey, and he [Harry] knows that in one sense, but they [Harry and Meghan] both have such egos that they expect the treatment.”
Davies also noted that “attacks on the royals in this country are remarkably low” and suggested for Harry to pay more attention to his safety in California instead.
“For him [Harry] to suddenly pick up the reins and say, ‘I want it because I was chased by a photographer’ is nonsensical,” Davies said.
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