UK

Police pour scorn on Harry and Meghan’s claims Archie’s security was tied to him being a prince

The move to strip Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son of their security had nothing to do with the Palace’s stance on Archie becoming a prince, it emerged last night.

Prince Harry claimed in the Oprah chat that when the Sussexes were in Canada he was told ‘at short notice security was going to be removed’.

Meghan also claimed the decision not to make her son a prince meant he would not get police protection.

But round-the-clock police protection is understood to have been taken away when they stepped down as working royals after a meeting of the government body that oversees protection.

Prince Charles then reportedly said he would not fund their private security out of his own money. 

The assumption by Harry that taxpayers would fund security after he and Meghan left the UK was branded ‘arrogant’ and ‘unworkable’ yesterday.

Former chief superintendent Dai Davies, who led the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection unit, said the couple’s plans were ‘utterly unrealistic’ and could have put British police at risk.

Mr Davies said he was ‘gobsmacked’ that the couple expected British taxpayers to pick up the bill – estimated at £4million a year.

He added: ‘It was utterly unrealistic to think they could continue to have their royal protection team working in America – in fact it would have put their [police] lives at risk.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with protection during their three-week tour of Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji

The Queen - flanked by a police protection officer - at a church service in 2013

The Queen – flanked by a police protection officer – at a church service in 2013

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, with her police protection officer and heavy security in Fiji

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, with her police protection officer and heavy security in Fiji

Archie’s title – or future title – was at the centre of the Sussexes bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday.

Meghan described her ‘pain’ officials had denied him the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect him by denying him 24/7 security.

She said Archie becoming a prince was neither her nor Harry’s decision and said it was Palace officials who revealed Archie ‘wasn’t going to receive security’.

Sources told the Telegraph the reason the couple lost their security privileges was because they stepped down as working royals.

An insider told the newspaper: ‘Security was a big issue for them because there had been specific threats made against them.’ 

The couple were escorted from Canada to California last March by UK police, but the officers were then summoned back to London.

Media mogul Tyler Perry, whose house they used in LA, then brought in private security for them.

They now pay for their own protection after moving into their own mansion in Montecito.

The couple’s friends are reported to have said the cost of the bodyguards is ‘exorbitant’.

They are believed to have said the couple are annoyed Prince Andrew’s children Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie get treated differently.

The Royal and VIP Executive Committee authorises the budget for security for royals, VIPs and former PMs.

The government committee’s control over it means the Queen does not have the right to dish out protection.

A former senior officer in the Met told the Telegraph the move was made by senior police and Homes Office staff after consulting with the Palace. 

Prince Harry arrives in Scotland surrounded by his own security team which were cut off after his US move

Prince Harry arrives in Scotland surrounded by his own security team which were cut off after his US move

The Sussexes reportedly fear the Duke of Cornwall (pictured in London yesterday) will scrap this under plans for a slimmed-down monarchy

The Sussexes reportedly fear the Duke of Cornwall (pictured in London yesterday) will scrap this under plans for a slimmed-down monarchy

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured in 2019) are said to believe the Prince of Wales plans to change the rules when the Queen dies

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured in 2019) are said to believe the Prince of Wales plans to change the rules when the Queen dies

In 1917, the then King issued a written order ruling that only grandchildren of the monarch who are in the direct line of succession could be made a prince

In 1917, the then King issued a written order ruling that only grandchildren of the monarch who are in the direct line of succession could be made a prince

What is the George V convention?

In 1917, the Queen’s grandfather issued new letters patent that limited the number of royal family members with an HRH title.  

These stated that ‘the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour’. 

In 1917, the Queen’s grandfather issued new letters patent that limited the number of royal family members with an HRH title

This means that when Prince Charles become King, his grandchildren – including Archie – will all automatically become princes or princesses.  

It was also decreed that  ‘grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line … shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms’ (i.e., Lord or Lady before their Christian name).’ 

In addition the letters stated ‘save as aforesaid the style title or attribute of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess shall not henceforth be assumed or borne by any descendant of any Sovereign of these Realms. 

It comes as reports claim Harry and Meghan think Prince Charles will not make their son Archie a prince when he becomes king.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are said to believe the Prince of Wales plans to change the rules when the Queen dies. 

Archie was not born a prince due to an order by King George V in 1917 ruling only royal offspring in the direct line of succession could be made a prince or princess.

Under the Letters Patent the child would still be entitled to be an HRH or a prince when Charles accedes to the throne.

But the Sussexes reportedly fear the Duke of Cornwall will scrap this under plans for a slimmed-down monarchy.

When asked if it was ‘important’ for Meghan that Archie be called a prince, she said she does not have any attachment to the ‘grandeur’ of official titles.

She said it was about ‘the idea of our son not being safe’ and the idea ‘the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way’.

In 1917, King George V – the Queen’s grandfather – issued a written order ruling only royal offspring in the direct line of succession could be made a prince or princess.

The Letters Patent read: ‘…the grandchildren of the sons of any such sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes of these our realms.’

Under the rules, only Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest son Prince George – as a great-grandson of the monarch down the direct line of succession to the throne – was originally entitled to be a prince.

The Queen stepped in ahead of George’s birth in 2013 to issue a Letters Patent to ensure all George’s siblings – as the children of future monarch William – would have fitting titles.

Under the George V rules, Archie would still be entitled to be an HRH or a prince when his grandfather Charles, the Prince of Wales, accedes to the throne.

But the Times reports the Sussexes are concerned Prince Charles will change the rules when he is king – meaning their son will not carry the title.

The newspaper cited a section of Meghan’s chat with Oprah, in which the Duchess said: ‘While I was pregnant they said they want to change the convention for Archie.’

It said her claims have not been verified by sources in the Palace, with one saying they had not heard about these talks.

Prince Charles is said to have long had a desire to have a ‘slimmed-down’ Royal Family, with a greater focus on the direct line of succession. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have insisted their interview with Oprah Winfrey would be the 'last word' on them quitting as senior royals

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have insisted their interview with Oprah Winfrey would be the ‘last word’ on them quitting as senior royals 

No way they could keep their bodyguards: Former royal security unit chief blasts ‘arrogant’ assumption Harry and Meghan could retain their protection after stepping back

The assumption by Harry that tax- payers would fund security after he and Meghan left the UK was branded ‘arrogant’ and ‘unworkable’ yesterday.

Former chief superintendent Dai Davies, who led the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection unit, said the couple’s plans were ‘utterly unrealistic’ and could have put British police at risk.

UK officers cannot carry guns under US laws or access intelligence about potential threats. 

Donald Trump, who was then president, made it clear the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would have no US-funded Secret Service bodyguards after the couple moved to California from Canada in March 2020.

Former chief superintendent Dai Davies, who led the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection unit, described the couple's hopes of security in the US 'unworkable'

Former chief superintendent Dai Davies, who led the Metropolitan Police’s royalty protection unit, described the couple’s hopes of security in the US ‘unworkable’

Harry told Oprah Winfrey they were informed at ‘short notice’ that their Met police security detail would be cut off. 

The prince said, ‘Their justification was a change in status’, adding that he ‘pushed back’. 

Mr Davies said he was ‘gobsmacked’ that the couple expected British taxpayers to pick up the bill – estimated at £4million a year.

He insisted: ‘It shows you their naivety and sense of entitlement.

‘It was utterly unrealistic to think they could continue to have their royal protection team working in America – in fact it would have put their [police] lives at risk.

‘There is a reciprocal agreement in place with the US for occasions like official state visits, but British officers couldn’t just carry on working there, unable to bear firearms and with no access to integrated intelligence from the security services. It was unworkable.’ 

He added: ‘It was simply arrogant to presume they and their baby would get protection.’

Russell Stuart, a former California State Guard officer turned celebrity bodyguard, pointed out that Harry and Meghan had increased their threat level by moving from Vancouver.

The couple told Oprah Winfrey they were informed at ‘short notice’ their Met police security detail would be cut off

The couple told Oprah Winfrey they were informed at ‘short notice’ their Met police security detail would be cut off

He said: ‘This is America. We’re a nation of gun owners, we’ve got a lot of weapons. We’re ten times the population of Canada.

‘California is a much bigger place, it’s more dangerous, you have a lot more potential threats than back in Vancouver.’

Initially when they went to Canada, the couple’s royal protection officers were given assistance by Canadian mounties, but this was only ever intended as an interim measure until other arrangements could be made.

The Canadian Government later confirmed it would stop providing security assistance to the family ‘in keeping with their change in status’.

Aside from the legal and practical difficulties of protecting a royal living abroad, the financial burden would have been astronomical.

The cost of a close protection team and static security at events was estimated at more than £1million a year when officers’ salary, overtime payments, overseas allowance, pensions, flights and accommodation costs were added up.

An armed team made up of at least six people including a principal personal protection officer and back up close protection officers accompanied the family at all times.

They work in pairs and if the couple travelled separately or attended separate engagements it required at least four of them to do the job as they work on relay shift patterns.

Many of the Scotland Yard officers who protected them had families in the UK and it would have been unfair to expect them to travel back and forth.

Such a vast expense would have been untenable at a time when Scotland Yard had already nearly doubled its flight budget to cover the escalating cost of protecting of globe-trotting Royals on official visits and holidays in 2019.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button