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Prince Harry in legal battle to pay for British police protection

LONDON - Prince Harry challenges British government decision not to pay him for police protection when he returns to Britain

Harry wants to bring his two children, Archie and Lilibet, to the UK so they can "know his home country", but that is too risky without proper police protection, his legal representative said in a statement via email on Saturday.

Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have been living in California after completing their separation from the royal family in recent years.

The statement said Harry himself would pay for police protection instead of getting British taxpayers to pay the bill, but that he was unable to do so unless the Home Office allowed him to do so.

Harry's safety was "compromised due to the absence of police protection" during a recent visit to the UK to unveil a statue in honor of his late mother, Princess Diana, the statement said.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are personally funding a private security team for their family, but this security cannot replicate the necessary police protection required while in the UK," the statement said.

"In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home," it said.

Harry, who is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, "inherited a security risk at birth", and his family has been exposed to "well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats" in recent years, the statement said, noting that other British people have left public office and have inherent threat risks receive police protection at no cost.

Harry and Meghan lost publicly funded police protection in the UK when they resigned as senior working royals and moved to the United States two years ago.

The couple's daughter, Lilibet Diana, who was born in June, has not yet met her great-grandmother, the queen and other members of the royal family.

"Britain will always be Prince Harry's home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in," the statement said. "With the lack of police protection comes an excessive personal risk."

As a result, Harry sought a lawsuit in September to challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures, his representative said.

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The representative added that Harry had decided to publish the information due to a leak in the British tabloid media.

A government spokesman said in an email that Britain's protective security system was "strict and proportionate" and that it was a long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on such events.

The spokesman also added that it would not be appropriate to comment on the details of a lawsuit.

Reuters, Associated Press and Henry Austin the contribution.

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