Prince Harry’s bitter security battle ‘will cost taxpayers £1m’

Prince Harry’s marathon legal battle over his UK security could cost taxpayers a total of £1m, the royal family’s former head of protection has warned.

The 39-year-old royal is back in High Court for a three-day judicial review of the Home Office’s decision to scale back his protection in Britain.

And former head of royal protection Dai Davies has now declared the long-running court case “is going to cost you and I about £1m by the time it’s finished”.

He told GB News: “The truth is, he actually gets protection… every time, anything to do with royals – and he’s here as a prince of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, never forget Northern Ireland – yes, of course he gets it. And he has.

“What he wants is armed protection when he comes here and has done over a number of years.”

Davies added about how the Duke of Sussex has personal minders: “He brings his own protection teams who are not armed, but a number of them are former royalty protection officers.

“If there’s a threat, if there’s any kind of issue, he will be afforded the protection he wants.

“This is a storm in the cup and it’s going to cost you and I about £1m.”

This case is one of Harry’s five pending High Court lawsuits (AP)
This case is one of Harry’s five pending High Court lawsuits (AP)

Harry is challenging a February 2020 order by the Royal And VIP Executive Committee (Ravec) that scaled back his security detail after he infamously quit the royal family and relocated to the US in 2020.

Last month, a freedom of information request revealed the Home Office had footed a bill of £407,827 in legal fees since Harry’s case started.

The latest figures, obtained by Metro, which covered a period up to 15 October, showed the government’s legal department claimed £265,437 in costs and counsel £137, 864. Other charges break down into court fees of £2,310, electronic disclosure of £2,199 and a courier fee of £16.55.

Harry’s case has been back in London’s High Court since Tuesday (5 December), with his legal team arguing he was treated unfairly when it was ruled he and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wouldn’t be given the “same degree” of protection when visiting Britain.

His counsel has claimed Harry was not allowed to make proper representations to Ravec before his security was rolled back.

Harry’s barrister Shaheed Fatima KC on Tuesday told the High Court: “The claimant’s consistent position has been, and remains, that he should be given state security in light of the threats/risks he faces.”

The cost of the royal family’s security is secret on grounds of national security – but estimates of the cost to the taxpayer range from between several million pounds to as much as £100m, according to the Institute for Government think tank.

Harry’s battle over security returned to the High Court days after the race row over his and Meghan’s baby Archie was reignited.

Omid Scobie, claimed in his new book on the royals, Endgame, that two senior royals raised “concerns” about how dark the couple’s firstborn baby’s skin would be.

King Charles and Catherine, Princess of Wales were named as the “royal racists” in the Dutch version of Scobie’s second book on the royals – but the Welsh-born writer has denied including their identities in any version of his manuscript.

The Independent has reached out to Harry’s representatives for comment.