Prince Harry Wants Police Protection 'Served Up' Like 'Fatted Calf'—Lawyer

Prince Harry has fueled his "detractors" by suing the British government over the decision to remove his police protection, a lawyer tells Newsweek.

The Duke of Sussex filed a "judicial review" of the Home Office decision to remove his police protection while in Britain and has offered to pay the officers who would guard him.

Harry's legal representative said he is unable to return home to the U.K. without a police protection detail because the risk to his safety is too high, even though he has his own private security.

Amber Melville-Brown, global head of reputation at lawfirm Withers, told Newsweek: "While the prodigal son is welcome in his home country, asking for the British police and security services to be served up to him as the fatted calf, even if he foots the bill, is not a great brand-building move.

"This legal action may give detractors yet further opportunity to attack Prince Harry for actions which draw negative media attention when the royal family least needs it.

"Conversely it serves as some unexpected free advertising and positive publicity for the British police force and security services which on the Prince's own argument are so stellar as to be incapable of replication for love nor money."

Prince Harry's team believe private security are unable to provide the same service in Britain that they provide in America, in part because police give less support in the U.K. to private bodyguards.

However, private teams are also not legally allowed to carry guns in Britain due to the country's strict laws on firearms.

The judicial review, if given the green light by the High Court in London, would challenge the decision making process at the Home Office.

A source told Newsweek Prince Charles loves his son but security decisions are taken by the Home Office not the royal family.

Former royal protection officer Ken Wharfe, who guarded Princess Diana as well as Harry and Prince William when they were children, said the lawsuit was a bad idea.

Writing in The Daily Mail online, he said: "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."

Newsweek understands Prince Harry received some police support when attending Prince Philip's funeral but that it was his last visit, to unveil a statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace, that led to the judicial review application.

Prince Harry With Protection Officer
Prince Harry flanked by a protection officer during a walkabout in Rotorua, New Zealand, on October 31, 2018. The Duke of Sussex has sued the U.K. Home Office for denying him a police security detail. Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Statement by Prince Harry's Legal Representative in Full

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.

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 Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.

The Duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham. That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer. As is widely known, others who have left public office and have an inherent threat risk receive police protection at no cost to them.

The goal for Prince Harry has been simple – to ensure the safety of himself and his family while in the UK so his children can know his home country. During his last visit to the UK in July 2021 – to unveil a statue in honour of his late mother – his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection, whilst leaving a charity event.

After another attempt at negotiations was also rejected, he sought a judicial review in September 2021 to challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures, in the hopes that this could be re-evaluated for the obvious and necessary protection required.

The UK will always be Prince Harry's home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in. 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 UK – will resolve this situation.

It is due to a leak in a UK tabloid, with surreptitious timing, we feel it necessary to release a statement setting the facts straight.