Prince Harry’s long-running legal battle against the Home Office’s decision to cut his police protection in the UK has cost taxpayers more than £235,600 to date. The bill has more than doubled in six months as the Duke of Sussex continues to contest the government’s reduction in his security arrangements.
The Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, retired from royal responsibilities in early 2020 to settle in Montecito, California. Following the ‘Megxit,’ the Home Office ruled that he would not be given the ‘same degree of personal security, despite the Duke’s willingness to pay for it himself. Government lawyers argued his offer was ‘irrelevant’ to how officials made security decisions for the Royal Family.
This week, Britain’s former counter-terrorism chief provided further light on the Prince’s challenge, claiming that Meghan received genuine threats to her life when the pair resided in the UK. Neil Basu, the Met’s assistant commissioner, described the schemes as “very real” and claimed they had been probed by Scotland Yard teams.
The Prince has previously stated, via his legal team, that he “inherited a security danger at birth,” with his young family facing “well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.” According to information obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Metro.co.uk, the total cost to the Home Office up to November 10 is £235,604.39.
Since a running sum of £90,000 was revealed in July 2022, the amount has more than doubled. According to the statistics, the majority of the price is accounted for by Government Legal Department fees of £154,004.64, followed by counsel payments of £80,599.20.
The price is further divided into court fees of £660, courier fees of £16.55, and electronic disclosure fees of £324. According to Prince Harry’s legal adviser, he wishes to “challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures in the hope that this may be re-evaluated for the obvious and necessary protection required.”
The appeal was made in response to a security incident in July 2021 in which the Duke’s car was pursued by photographers as he left a charity event at Kew Gardens. His legal team said ‘his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection.
In January, the Duke’s legal team said: ‘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 2020 at Sandringham.
‘That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, so as not to impose it 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.’