Is Harry using the protection row as an ‘excuse’ to duck Queen’s Platinum jubilee?

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Is Harry using the protection row as an ‘excuse’ to duck Queen’s Platinum jubilee?

Prince Harry security: Royal commentators discuss situationThe Duke of Sussex is challenging a Government decision that he should not receive polic

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Prince Harry security: Royal commentators discuss situation

The Duke of Sussex is challenging a Government decision that he should not receive police protection when on British soil, even if he covers the cost himself, his legal representatives said on Sunday. Harry and wife Meghan Markle have relied on a private security team since quitting the UK for the United States in 2020 after stepping down as frontline Royals.

His legal team argues such arrangements would not offer sufficient protection for the pair should they visit the UK.

However, Jonathan Sacerdoti, who is a regular commentator on Sky News on Royal affairs, as well as a contributor to The Spectator, was non-plussed by recent developments.

He told Express.co.uk: “I don’t understand why they’re making such a fuss about it.

“They have their own private security, as they have said, and the fact of the matter is even if they are paying for it, the police are not for hire.

Prince Harry Queen Elizabeth

Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth – his grandmother (Image: GETTY)

Meghan Markle Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in California (Image: GETTY)

“So I think that the police make, in tandem with governments and the Royal Family, decisions over who need police protection.

“I think that’s extended to certain members of the Royal Family, particularly the working ones, but not always all of them.”

Consequently, Mr Sacerdoti wondered whether there might be more to Harry’s latest demands than met the eye.

He explained: “It makes me wonder whether this might be an excuse not to come, which they could blame on the family rather than themselves.

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Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales (Image: Mirrorpix)

“Because certainly their presence might be quite awkward in terms of stealing the pulpit from the Queen and celebrations, and perhaps this is one way they can avoid that.

“I hate to think that the motivation behind it but one never knows.

“I think also, it’s once again a way in which they can blame the family, or Britain at least, for not providing what they think is the minimum standard of protection or service to them, rather than accepting what the police force themselves, or the Royal Family, or the Government, might think is an appropriate level of security.”

Offering Harry and Meghan the benefit of the doubt, Mr Sacerdoti acknowledged security was a major concern, especially given the circumstances in which the Duke’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, died, in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

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Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth is preparing for her Platinum Jubilee (Image: GETTY)

Prince Harry Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured in Harlem last year (Image: GETTY)

During last year’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry had made it clear one of his motivations in seeking deals with the likes of Netflix was to earn money to pay for security to protect his family, Mr Sacerdoti pointed out.

However, he added: “I do think that there is also an element of that being a status symbol in Hollywood in celebrity circles, having an entourage of bodyguards and the like.

Looking ahead to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend 2022, for which a series of high-profile events are scheduled between June 2 and 5, Mr Sacerdoti said: “Also if Harry and Meghan were taken part in Jubilee celebrations with the family, the chances are they will always been together with a group of royals who are also being protected.

“So it’s probably a bit superfluous to have extra layers of security when nobody will be able to get very near to them anyway.”

Meghan Markle Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding factfile (Image: Express)

As for the question of whether Harry and Meghan actually will come to the UK in June, Mr Sacerdoti was undecided.

He said: “I think if they come they will be a distraction. If they don’t come, they’ll be a distraction.

“It’s so hard to predict what Harry and Meghan will do because sometimes It seems like their actions are designed to upset the whole family. Now I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, but it can seem that way.

“I don’t know what would upset the family more, if they did come or they didn’t – but if I had to say, I would say they will find a way for him to come.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry’s life in pictures (Image: Express)

“But they might find an excuse for her not to, because I think she realises she is probably not a very popular figure in the UK, whereas there is still some residual affection for Prince Harry – although I think that’s being tested and potentially exhausted in many areas.

“I think that if they do come, which they may, it would be nice if they could manage to keep a low profile, be where they needed to be seen where they needed to be seen and behave in a way that is appropriate for the for the occasion, and I think they’re capable of that.”

Express.co.uk has approached Prince Harry via Archewell for comment.



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