Prince Harry’s already strained relationship with his father, King Charles III, could be further damaged after the Duke of Sussex’s bid to pay for his own police protection was denied again in court.
“Harry has already made it clear that he doesn’t feel safe in the U.K. and is building his life in California,” royal commentator Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital. “Between the court’s decision this morning and their move out of Frogmore Cottage, I don’t think we should expect to see the Sussex family in the U.K. again for a very long while.”
“The King” author Christopher Andersen agreed, saying, “It’s hard to imagine anything short of a royal funeral or another in-and-out court appearance that would lure Harry — much less Meghan — back to the U.K. anytime soon.”
The British government stopped providing police protection for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle after the couple stepped back from their senior roles in the royal family in 2020. Since then, Prince Harry has been locked in a legal battle. He argued the protection was still necessary for his family and even offered to personally pay for it.
PRINCE HARRY LOSES LEGAL CHALLENGE TO PAY FOR POLICE PROTECTION WHILE IN THE UK
A lawyer for the government argued in court it was not appropriate to allow hiring “police officers as private bodyguards for the wealthy.”
Justice Martin Chamberlain said there was nothing “incoherent or illogical” in the government’s reasoning to deny the Duke of Sussex’s request to hire police bodyguards at his own expense. He said providing private protection for an individual was different from paying police as security at sporting and other events.
Further, he said it could strain police resources, set a precedent and be seen as unfair.
Ian Pelham Turner, another royal expert, noted Prince Harry and Markle’s failure to be able to finance their own police protection is “another major blow” to the couple, who have stepped away from their roles as working royals.
“I personally feel it is an inexplicable decision,” he explained. “I understand this would be an unusual method of paying the Metropolitan Police for security protection and could set a precedent. But, right now, these are new times for the royal family and especially King Charles, and new methods of financing any royal projects should be investigated.
“We live now in 2023, not 1923. The whole of the royal family and their institutions are being scrutinized, and my personal understanding is that the British public would see the royal household paying their way, where they can, would be a massive step forward. Thus, this court decision could be another blow and create further obstacles for the return of the royal couple to Britain.”
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King Charles does not have the power to reverse the court’s ruling, according to Fox News Digital’s experts.
“The sovereign doesn’t interfere with the government. There is an extreme firewall between the two institutions,” Spence said. “That’s how the U.K. constitutional monarchy works. The High Court and the Home Office are government institutions.”
PRINCE HARRY REQUESTS TO FUND OWN POLICE SECURITY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
“Plus, the royal family so rarely brings issues through the court. They do not think it is in their interest for longevity of the institution to air their dirty laundry or tell a story of how they were wronged. So, no, the king respects the decision of the High Court.”
Kinsey Schofield, host of the “To Di For Daily” podcast, predicted King Charles wouldn’t “lift a finger” for Harry and Markle following the court ruling.
“They know that the king is very unlikely to lift a finger for them at this point. He has a soft spot for Harry but knows that if Harry is home for an official visit associated with his family … he will be protected,” Schofield explained. “Harry and Meghan rarely visit the U.K. as is. I don’t think that will change unless something changes in their relationship.”
While Harry lost the case to pay police to protect him in the U.K., he could end up with a bigger prize. Another judge allowed his case to proceed challenging the decision to deny him government-paid security.
If Harry were to win this court case, the British taxpayers would fund the police protection — similar to what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex received before stepping back in 2020 — when they visit in the future.
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Andersen claimed King Charles “really considers himself above such mundane considerations as who does or doesn’t get protection.”
“That decision is made by something called the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures. Of course, even before he became king, Charles moved heaven and earth to provide Camilla with royal protection,” the royal author explained. “But, other than his queen, I don’t think there’s anyone else he would buck the system for — not even for William and Kate, and certainly not for non-working royals like Harry and Meghan.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.