Prince Harry’s claim he was “forced” to leave the UK following a security downgrade has been challenged by the late Queen herself.
The Sun has reported a past letter between Queen Elizabeth’s most senior aide, Sir Edward Young, and the then Cabinet Secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill, has cast doubt on the Prince’s claims as the Queen reportedly did want her grandson to have “effective security”.
During the Duke of Sussex’s legal battle, in which he is challenging the Home Office’s decision to remove his taxpayer-funded security detail, the letter written on instructions by the late Queen said she considered it “imperative” that Harry and his family - including Meghan Markle and their children, receive “effective security”.
The letter reportedly said it was “of paramount importance to Her Majesty and her family”.
It is a contradicting claim to one Harry made in his bombshell memoir Spare in which he said he and Meghan were cut off by the royal family and in desperation to keep their security personal, he begged his family to change their minds.
The Queen with Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Photo / Getty Images
In the book - which was released in January, he claims he told his family: “Look. Please. Meg and I don’t care about perks, we care about working, serving – and staying alive”.
He doubled down on the claims in his recent legal battle with his lawyer, Shaheed Fatima KC, reading out the prince’s written statement, “It was with great sadness to both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country in 2020.
“The UK is my home. The UK is central to the heritage of my children and a place I want them to feel at home as much as where they live at the moment in the United States.
“That cannot happen if there is no possibility to keep them safe when they are on UK soil.
“I can’t put my wife in danger like that, and given my experiences in life I’m reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too.”
In January 2020 when the Sussexes revealed their decision to step back from royal duties, their statement said they “chose” to leave.
The confession comes as the prince takes on a legal challenge against the Home Office following its amendment to his security arrangements when visiting the UK. The decision was made in February 2020 by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) which agreed to change the degree of Harry’s publicly funded security. The prince quickly hit back arguing it was “unlawful and unfair”.
The two-and-a-half day hearing - which concluded last Thursday, was largely kept private without public or media present due to confidential evidence, is now waiting for a ruling from Judge Lane.
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