There has long been speculation over when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will next visit the UK, with many expecting the royal couple to return home for the Queen’s Jubilee later this year. But recent concerns over Harry’s security have thrown their return visit into question, with Prince Harry saying the lack of police protection has left him “unable to return home”.
The 37-year-old royal recently applied for a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him to pay for his own police protection while he and his family are in the UK.
Harry claimed he applied for police protection in January 2020 when he visited the UK, offering to pay for it personally, but said the offer was “dismissed”.
In a statement, a legal representative for the royal said the UK would “always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in”.
But royal expert Camilla Tominey has suggested that perhaps Meghan Markle “categorically doesn’t” want to return to the UK.
Writing about Prince Harry’s request for personal police protection, Ms Tominey said: “Yet as many royal commentators, and indeed former royal bodyguards have pointed out, the couple will automatically be enveloped into the Met’s policing of the Jubilee because it’s an official event.
“It was the same when Harry came over for Prince Philip’s funeral.
“What this seems to be about is the policing of the couple’s private visits to the UK – but surely by their very nature, they pose no significant security risk?
Writing in The Telegraph, she added: “Celia Walden wrote a shrewd piece in these pages on Tuesday, in which she suggested that ‘bored Harry is trying to tell us he wants to come home’.
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He also returned in July for the unveiling of a memorial statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace.
Meghan was pregnant during Harry’s first visit and was advised not to travel.
In July, she was still recovering from having given birth to Lilibet Diana just a few weeks before the unveiling of the statue.
As Lilibet, now 7-months-old, was born in California, she is yet to meet her namesake the Queen.
In a statement, a legal representative for Prince Harry said that “while his role” has changed, his “profile” has not.
It said: “Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life.
“He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.
“While his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection within the UK.
“In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return home.”