Prince Harry told he has to give 28 days notice if he wants to visit UK - 'Threat to safety'

Prince Harry pointing

Prince Harry was told to give 28 days’ notice of his planned trips to the UK

Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 19/03/2023

- 16:45

The Duke of Sussex was told that the period of time would allow security arrangements to be processed

Prince Harry was told to give 28 days’ notice of his planned trips to the UK so that security requests could be assessed, it has emerged.

The Duke of Sussex was informed at the time that it would be a matter for the Home Office to consider whether the requested security was necessary.

Prince Harry hit back and asked the Home Office committee, responsible for royal security, to give him an example of a person with the same threat assessment as him who had received no security after stepping back from public duty.

He also criticised the arrangements for his family’s visit to the UK in June 2021 for the memorial events for Diana, describing them as “patchy, disjointed and inadequate”.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at a royal event

Prince Harry described security for his family's visit to the UK in June 2021 as 'patchy, disjointed and inadequate'

The details of his security arrangements have been disclosed in legal documents relating to his libel claim against the Mail on Sunday surrounding his willingness to pay for his own police protection in the UK.

Harry is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over a story published in February 2022 about his legal challenge against the Government’s decision to deny him and his family the right to automatic protection.

The article said he had tried to keep “secret” parts of his legal battle with the Home Office over his security and has tried to “spin” the dispute in his favour by claiming he had offered to pay for the protection himself.

The court heard that in an April 2020 email to Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, Harry “made it clear we couldn’t afford private security until we were able to earn”.

Harry’s lead attorney asked Judge Matthew Nickin to either dismiss the publisher’s defence or to deliver a summary judgment, which would be a ruling in the prince’s favour without going to trial.

ANL contest the claim and argue the article expressed an “honest opinion” and did not cause “serious harm” to his reputation.

In a summary of his claim against the Home Office’s Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC), Prince Harry’s lawyers state that he is “gravely concerned about his safety and security during future trips to the UK”.

And he feels he has no choice but to take legal action “given the gravity of what is at stake for him and his family.”

Prince Harry walking with Meghan Markle

Prince Harry's lawyers said he and Meghan had been subject to 'intense media scrutiny'


They add: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been subject to intense media scrutiny, hostile social media attention, and targeting by violent extremists due to (amongst other things) the [Duke’s] ten years of military service in the British Army, the Duchess of Sussex's race and their involvement in charitable and other social justice initiatives.”

His lawyers say that the requirement to give 28 day notice, where a case by case decision would be made by RAVEC whether security will be provided, creates “uncertainty” and could threaten his safety.

Previously it was suggested by RAVEC officials that the Duke’s security requirements could be assessed by a number of “test trips” to the UK.

The Duke has asked Justice Nicklin to rule in his favour without a trial, an application ANL said was “wholly without merit”.

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