Prince Harry, in a recent legal challenge against the UK Home Office, has expressed his deep-rooted connection to the United Kingdom, declaring it as his home. However, he has also detailed the compelling circumstances that led to his and his wife Meghan’s decision to step back from their royal duties and relocate to the United States.
During a hearing at the High Court in London, it was revealed that the Duke of Sussex feels that his and his children’s ability to feel at home in the UK is compromised by security concerns. This sentiment was shared in a written witness statement prepared for the legal case challenging changes to his security arrangements in the UK. These changes could potentially see the removal of his taxpayer-funded armed protection during visits to the country, reported Daily Mail.
Harry’s barrister, Shaheed Fatima KC, emphasized in court that Harry did not view the decision to cease being a ‘full-time working member of the royal family’ as a mere choice, but rather as a necessary action under pressing circumstances. The legal team is contesting the alteration in his security status, arguing for its necessity given his public profile and the risks associated with it.
The statement from Prince Harry read in court highlighted the emotional toll of their decision. “It was with great sadness for both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country in 2020,” he said. He underlined the significance of the UK in his life and for his children’s heritage, expressing a desire for them to have the same sense of belonging in the UK as they do in the US.
However, he stressed that this sense of belonging is contingent on their safety on UK soil. Prince Harry also touched on personal safety concerns, stating, “I cannot put my wife in danger like that and, given my experiences in life, I am reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too”, according to ITV.
This comment reflects not only on the immediate family’s safety but also on the broader implications of their high-profile status and the public attention it garners. As the hearing concluded on Thursday at the Royal Courts of Justice, Prince Harry now awaits the judge’s ruling on this matter.
The outcome of this legal action is anticipated to have significant implications for how the Duke of Sussex and his family manage their visits and security arrangements in the UK, a country that he still deeply identifies with as his home.