Harry, Meghan's Home Hit by Intruders Amid U.K. Protection Suit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Santa Barbara home was the target of two security breaches within the space of 12 days in May 2022, according to police records seen by a U.K. newspaper.

The Sun said that on May 19, 2022—the Sussexes' wedding anniversary— a trespasser on the grounds of the couple's Montecito estate was reported to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

A second incident was reportedly called in on May 31, shortly before Harry and Meghan flew with their two children to the U.K. for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

According to The Sun, both incidents were logged with the police department as "trespasser," "property crimes" and "suspicious circumstances."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Home Trespassers
The Sussexes in London on June 3, 2022. A U.K. newspaper reported that police were informed of two trespassing incidents at their Montecito home within 12 days in May this year. Matt Dunham/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The news comes as a High Court judge ruled on Friday that Harry could proceed with a lawsuit against the U.K. government, having proven that he has an "arguable" case against a decision that was made to reduce his security allocation since he stepped down as a full-time working royal.

Harry's legal team successfully argued that the decision by the the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC), on behalf of the Home Office, to reduce his security when in the U.K. and refuse his offer to pay for Metropolitan Police protection should be defended in a court of law.

In a statement made to the court by the royal's legal representatives in January, it was revealed that his concerns over threats to his family's security were preventing him from spending time in Britain.

"The U.K. will always be Prince Harry's home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in," it said.

"With the lack of police protection, comes too great a personal risk. Prince Harry hopes that his petition—after close to two years of pleas for security in the U.K.—will resolve this situation."

Prince Harry Lawsuit Proceeds
The Royal Courts of Justice in London on January 19, 2021. A High Court judge ruled on Friday that Prince Harry had an "arguable" case against the U.K. government regarding the reduction of his security. DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.K. government's position regarding Harry's security has been firmly that the decision made by the RAVEC committee to reduce protection allocated to the prince was in line with the criteria met by his new public role and that it isn't possible for private individuals to pay for police protection.

The lawsuit having been given the go ahead to proceed will see the RAVEC committee supply evidence for its decision based on the criteria set by the Home Office. No court date has yet been given.

The recently reported cases of security breaches at the Sussexes' U.S. home highlight the threat level faced by the couple on a day-to-day basis.

In the U.S., the couple employs a private security team that isn't able to exercise the same level of protection in the U.K. owing to laws on firearms and access to government intelligence regarding intercepted threats.

Harry and Meghan moved their family to Santa Barbara, in part, due to security concerns following the removal of their U.K. funded protection in March 2020 while living in Canada.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Oprah Interview
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey. The said they moved their family to L.A. in part over security concerns. Harpo Productions

Speaking to Oprah Winfrey in the couple's landmark tell-all interview the following year, Harry said he made the decision to move his family to the U.S. during the pandemic.

"The biggest concern was that while we were in Canada, in someone else's house, I then got told at short notice security was going to be removed," he told the TV veteran.

"By this point, courtesy of the Daily Mail, the world knew  our exact location. So suddenly it dawned on me, 'Hang on a second. The borders could be closed. We're going to have our security removed. Who knows how long lockdown's going to be? The world knows where we are. It's not safe. It's not secure'."

The Sussexes moved to the Los Angeles home of Hollywood star Tyler Perry for a short period before purchasing a large family home in Montecito. The home is set within an enclave of exclusive residences belonging to A-list celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey.

It's also close to the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club where Harry's polo team "Los Padres" play.

The most recent reports of security breaches at the Sussexes' home aren't the first to be picked up by the media. In 2021, gossip outlet TMZ reported that an intruder had trespassed at the royals' home over the 2020 Christmas period. The culprit was reportedly apprehended by law enforcement.

Newsweek approached representatives of Harry and Meghan for comment.

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