With King Charles’ coronation (opens in new tab) fast approaching, royal fans have been wondering if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will return to the UK (opens in new tab) for the historic occasion.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed that they received an invite from the Palace, with Charles and Prince William said to be ‘working in tandem’ (opens in new tab) to ensure that they are present, but insiders have claimed that the couple should expect ‘the cold shoulder’ from family members (opens in new tab) following the release of their Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan, and the Prince’s memoir, Spare.
While they have not yet publicly confirmed if they will travel overseas for the celebrations, it has emerged that the Duke was formerly requested to give a month’s notice if he intends to return to the UK.
According to a report obtained by The Telegraph (opens in new tab), the Home Office stated that Harry is to give a 28 day notice period when travelling to his home country to allow time to process security requests and make any arrangements if necessary. Since he stepped away from royal life in 2020, they determine the level of security that he should need.
The publication claims that Harry pushed back on the decision and asked for ‘an example of where someone else has left ‘public duty’ with the same threat assessment as [him], and received no security’, adding: “I was born into this and the threat will never decrease because of my status regarding the family.”
In February 2022, Harry launched a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited alleging that the Mail on Sunday libelled him by running a story about his request for police protection. The article claimed that Harry had tried to keep his dispute with the Home Office a ‘secret’ and that he was attempting to ‘spin’ the narrative by asserting that he had offered to pay for his own protection.
The Prince’s legal team said that he decided to take legal action given that he was ‘gravely concerned about his safety and security during future trips to the UK’.
They expressed: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been subject to intense media scrutiny, hostile social media attention, and targeting by violent extremists due to (amongst other things) the [Duke’s] ten years of military service in the British Army. The Duchess of Sussex’s race and their involvement in charitable and other social justice initiatives.”
Harry won a judicial review against the government’s decision in September 2021, and while a date for a hearing with ANL has not yet been set they are contesting the lawsuit, arguing that the article did not cause ‘serious harm’ to his reputation.
Harry’s lawyers say that the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures’ 28 day notice period could threaten his safety, claiming it ‘hinders their ability to plan for and manage his security arrangements; may lead to [the Duke’s] actual arrangements being inadequate and compromise his ultimate security.’
A spokesperson for the Sussexes has not yet commented.