The royal drama continues. Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s relationship is still at odds despite the Prince of Wales’ recent invitation for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to stay with him when they’re in the United Kingdom.
A source told The Mirror on January 18, 2022, that Charles invited Harry and Meghan to stay with him and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, in the days before Christmas as a way for him to see his grandchildren. Charles has never met Harry and Meghan’s newborn daughter Lilibet Diana (named after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and his late ex-wife, Princess Diana) since she was born in June 2021, and the last time he’s seen the Sussexes’ son, Archie Harrison, was when his grandson was just six months old.
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Despite “good natured and enjoyable” video calls between Charles, Harry and Meghan in the past few months, in the end, the Duke of Sussex told his father he would be “unable to return home” because it would be “too great a personal risk” for him and his family to come back to the U.K. without security, according to The Mirror. Harry was stripped of personal police protection from London’s Metropolitan Police in March 2020 when they stepped down as senior members of the royal family and moved from Kensington Palace to North America. They’ve since relocated to Montecito, a neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California.
A legal representative for the Sussexes claimed in a statement on January 16, 2022, that Harry had offered to pay the Metropolitan Police for security when his family is in the U.K., but his request wasn’t approved by the U.K. Home Office. Harry has since also filed a judicial review of the Home Office’s decision to not allow him to pay for his own police protection in the U.K.
“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home,” Harry and Meghan’s legal representative said in the statement. “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 representative said in a statement. “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 statement continued, “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. 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.”
Harry’s legal representatives also confirmed in the statement that his lack of security is the reason he’s never returned to the U.K. with his family since he left. “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,” the representative said.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, Meghan revealed that she asked the royals to restore Harry’s security after it was stripped. “I even wrote letters to his family saying, ‘Please, it’s very clear the protection of me or Archie is not a priority. I accept that. That is fine. Please keep my husband safe. I see the death threats. I see the racist propaganda. Please keep him safe. Please don’t pull his security and announce to the world when he and we are most vulnerable,’” she said at the time. “And they said it’s just not possible.”
For more about Prince Harry and Prince William’s feud, check out historian Robert Lacey’s 2020 book, Battle of Brothers. In this New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, Lacey takes a close look at Harry and William’s relationship throughout the years and considers each moment that led to their eventual estrangement. From the impact of their mother Princess Diana’s tragic death and the pressures of their roles in the royal family (William, the future king vs. Harry, the spare), to the influence their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have had on their differing paths, Battle of Brothers reveals all the “highs, lows, and discretions” of these brothers’ lives in a way “never offered before.”
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