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Prince Harry was 'unwise' to sue over police protection row, says Princess Diana's former bodyguard

9Honey logo 9Honey 10/08/2022 Natalie Oliveri

Princess Diana's former bodyguard believes Prince Harry's decision to sue the British government over his police protection was "unwise".

Ken Wharfe, who has also guarded Harry and Prince William, says the royal would have always received a level of protection when returning to the UK because of his birth as a "prince of the realm".

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan lost their publicly funded UK police protection when they stepped down as senior working royals and moved to North America in 2020.

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Prince Harry is suing the UK Government over police protection. © Getty Prince Harry is suing the UK Government over police protection.

The Duke of Sussex wants to pay personally for police security when he comes to Britain, and is challenging the government's refusal to permit it.

Last month, Judge Jonathan Swift ruled that the case can go to a full hearing at the High Court in London.

He refused some aspects of the challenge but said some grounds "give rise to an arguable case" that deserves a hearing.

A date for that has not yet been set.

Prince Harry and Meghan returned to the UK in June. © Getty Prince Harry and Meghan returned to the UK in June.

The Duke of Sussex wants to be able to pay for the protection, saying his private security team in the US doesn't have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information.

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Wharfe has told The Mirror's Pod Save the Queen podcast that taking legal action against the government was "unwise" because "in essence raises negative publicity".

"Rather than make a noise about how he wants the full package, the British Government and the Metropolitan Police would, of course, provide some sort of liaison to work with his own security, albeit private because that would be necessary," Wharfe said.

Wharfe said he can't understand why Harry was "insistent that he had this full package".

Prince Harry and Meghan in New York. © Getty Prince Harry and Meghan in New York.

"In essence, he wasn't really entitled to it being a non-working member of the British royal family."

Prince Harry's lawyers have previously said it would not be safe to bring his family to the UK for visits unless they have full police protection, adding the UK "is and always will be his home".

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They argued the decision to strip Harry of his protection, made by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (known as Ravec) in February 2020, was invalid because of "procedural unfairness".

Princess Diana and bodyguard Ken Wharfe at Thorpe Park. © Getty Princess Diana and bodyguard Ken Wharfe at Thorpe Park.

Wharfe said it would have been "wrong" for the Metropolitan Police to allow Harry "a global icon and celebrity in his own right, step onshore in the United Kingdom without any protection whatsoever".

"So that was never the case that the government and the police wouldn't have provided a liaison to guarantee his safety and that of his wife and children," he added.

"I think Harry will have to work a little bit harder and understand that the government and the police are here to help him and they will do so."

Most recently, Harry filed a second lawsuit over the issue of security.

It is understood the new action focuses on the decision from earlier this year that people should not be able to privately pay for police protection.

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