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Prince Harry ‘rejected King’s invitation to stay at royal residence’

In World
May 21, 2024

The Duke of Sussex turned down an invitation from his father to stay at a royal residence earlier this month because of security concerns, The Telegraph understands.

Prince Harry, 39, spent three nights in London when he flew from California to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games but did not see the King.

He is said to have made several personal requests for a meeting but on arrival in the UK, issued a statement stating that he and his father would not meet. He suggested it was because the King was too busy.

However, Charles, 75, did agree to a request from his younger son to stay at an undisclosed royal residence, aware that he no longer has an official UK home.

Had the invitation been accepted, it may have provided an opportunity to spend some time together outside of their hectic schedules.

The Duke declined because the offer did not come with any security provision, meaning he would have been staying in a visible location with public entrance and exit points and no police protection.

Instead, he chose to stay at a hotel, as he has done on all recent visits, meaning he could come and go unseen.

The Duke spent three nights in London when he flew from California to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games

The Duke spent three nights in London when he flew from California to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games – Chris Jackson/Getty Images for The Invictus Games Foundation

The Duke remains devastated about the withdrawal of his right to automatic police protection, which has become one of the biggest barriers to reconciliation with his father.

He applied for a judicial review after the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) declared in February 2020 that he and his family were no longer entitled to the “same degree” of personal security when visiting Britain.

Instead, a “bespoke” arrangement was created that involved assessing each visit on its merits.

The Duke told the High Court he felt “forced” to step back from royal duties and leave the UK.

He accused the Home Office of subjecting him to “unlawful and unfair treatment” by denying his family the right to automatic security and claimed he had been singled out and treated “less favourably” than others.

He said he believed the decision was imposed upon him “as some form of punishment for protecting my family and putting them first”.

The Duke offered to pay for his own security but was told the Metropolitan Police Service was not for hire.

He lost the legal challenge in February, leaving him with an estimated legal bill of more than £1million.

Mr Justice Lane insisted that Ravec’s decision had not been irrational or procedurally unfair and rejected the Duke’s “inappropriate, formalist interpretation” of the process.

Harry is now required to give at least 28 days’ notice of his visits to the UK, including all details of his travel arrangements, to allow the committee to assess his security requirements.

The King hosted a garden party while his son was a few miles up the road

The King hosted a garden party while his son was a few miles up the road – Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

He has been denied almost every request, except for the odd occasion when he has travelled to or from a royal event, such as the Coronation.

The Duke was given a police escort when he returned in February and was driven from Heathrow Airport to Clarence House for a meeting with the King, shortly after the monarch was diagnosed with cancer.

However, when he left the residence for his hotel, he had no protection.

The Duke feels he is currently unable to bring his wife or children to the UK as he cannot guarantee their safety. He is frustrated that his offer to pay for his own protection was turned down, it is understood.

Similarly, given that his father’s principal private secretary, and other senior members of the royal household, sit on Ravec, he feels that if there was a desire to help him, things might be different.

In announcing his intention to appeal the judicial review ruling in February, his spokesman said: “The Duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of Ravec’s own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others in accordance with Ravec’s own written policy.”

He believes that when he stepped back from royal duties in January 2020, the committee failed to adhere to its own written policy by conducting a full risk analysis.

“The Duke’s case is that the so-called ‘bespoke process’ that applies to him, is no substitute for that risk analysis,” the statement said.

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