KEY POINTS

  • Prince Harry wants to be allowed to personally fund police protection for himself and his family when in the U.K.
  • Piers Morgan slammed Prince Harry, claiming the duke is "behaving like a shameless entitled hypocrite"
  • Some Twitter users pointed out that Prince Harry and his family have inherent threat risks even if he is no longer a working royal

Twitter users have mixed opinions about Prince Harry challenging a British government decision that won't allow him to pay for his police protection when he returns to the U.K.

A legal representative for Prince Harry recently confirmed that the Duke of Sussex is seeking a judicial review against a refusal of the U.K.'s Home Office to allow him to personally fund police protection for himself and his family when in his home country, the BBC reported. Prince Harry lost his taxpayer-funded police protection when he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped back from royal duties in 2020.

The couple privately funds their security in California, where they now live. However, their private security team does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to U.K. intelligence information necessary to protect him, his wife and their children, Archie and Lilibet, the representative said.

British journalist Piers Morgan slammed Prince Harry over his move, claiming that the duke is "behaving like a shameless entitled hypocrite."

"He gave up his right to police protection when he abandoned Britain and royal duty," Morgan tweeted.

The former "Good Morning Britain" host also wrote in his column for The Sun that "only active royals who do their duty on behalf of the British taxpayers deserve that kind of protection, not runaways who've deserted their duty."

Morgan claimed that, as a journalist, he has also received death threats but understands that he is not entitled to full-time police protection. He suggested that the Sussexes do what he did and hire their own security team and request police help when they encounter any specific incident or threat.

Prince Harry's filing also sparked debate among Twitter users.

"You left out the part where Harry is offering to pay for the security himself," one person commented, but another person responded that the Metropolitan Police "is not for hire."

Another person wrote: "The Met and MI5 know more than we folk know. Also, whilst you can pay for police for events, you cannot hire armed security from the Met as Harry wishes to do so. If you could pay for armed police, every Russian businessman would clog the system."

One Twitter user suggested that Prince Harry was already aware that he cannot pay for U.K. police protection. "No private citizen can pay for a public police detail. Public police are not for hire. So, in this case, Piers is correct. Harry hoodwinked folks by pretending he would be able to pay," they claimed.

However, others pointed out that though they are no longer working members of the royal family, the security risk surrounding Prince Harry and his family is still there.

"He's still the future king's brother whether he wants to be a royal or not. That puts him and his family in a potentially vulnerable position. The royal family should protect them even if they are selfishly protecting themselves in the process," one person wrote.

"He simply wants armed protection, the only way to obtain that is through the police. He's prepared to pay for it, so what is the problem? Whether you like him or not, he's still the Queen's grandson," another user pointed out.

The duke's legal representative also mentioned this issue, saying in the statement: "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."

Prince Harry filed the legal claim in September last year following an incident in London in summer 2021, his legal representative said. The duke's security was compromised after his car was reportedly chased by photographers as he left a charity event. 

Prince Harry has been "unable to return to his home" because he felt it was too dangerous, according to his representative. The prince first offered to pay the costs of police protection in January 2020, but the offer was dismissed.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and his wife Duchess Camilla as well as Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton receive round-the-clock protection, according to The Times U.K. Other members of the royal family, including Princess Anne and Prince Edward, are understood to be guarded only while on official engagements.

After news of Prince Harry's filing made headlines, a government spokesperson said in a statement that the U.K.'s "protective security system is rigorous and proportionate," according to the BBC.

"It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements," the statement continued. "To do so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals' security."

Prince Harry and Meghan made the allegations of racism during an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey in March Prince Harry and Meghan made the allegations of racism during an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey in March Photo: AFP / Angela Weiss