Why Prince Harry Says He and Meghan Markle Can't Keep Their Kids Safe in the U.K.

Prince Harry argued that there's "no possibility" to keep his and Meghan Markle's kids Archie Harrison, 4, and Lilibet "Lili" Diana, 2, safe in the United Kingdom without help from the police.

By Gabrielle Chung Dec 07, 2023 10:12 PMTags
Watch: Prince Harry Says His Children Aren’t Safe in the U.K.

Prince Harry's top priority is his kids' safety.

That's why the Duke of Sussex is pushing back against the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures' (RAVEC) decision to revoke his automatic right to police protection when he and Meghan Markle visit the United Kingdom.

"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," he said in a statement read by his attorney at a Dec. 7 court hearing to challenge the ruling, per ITV. "The U.K. is my home. The U.K. 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 U.K. soil."

The 39-year-old's statement continued, seemingly referencing the 1997 paparazzi car chase in Paris that killed his mom Princess Diana, "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." 

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Family Album

Harry's access to publicly-funded security agents who normally accompany the royal family was revoked by the RAVEC in 2020 after he and Meghan—who share son Archie Harrison, 4, and daughter Lilibet "Lili" Diana, 2—stepped back from their roles as senior royals. The Spare author previously offered to cover the cost himself, but his bid was rejected by the High Court in May.

Since his relocation to the United States, Harry has traveled back to the U.K. only a handful of times.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Most recently, he visited his home country in May for his dad King Charles III's coronation, jetting back to U.S. shortly after the ceremony to celebrate Archie's fourth birthday, which fell on the same day. He was also in the U.K. in September ahead of the first anniversary of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's death. 

Last year, his lawyer Shaheed Fatima said that Harry "does not feel safe when he is in the U.K." without proper protection.

"It goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart," the attorney said in a February 2022 statement to E! News. "This is and always will be his home."

Keep reading for everything Harry and Meghan have said about parenthood and their kids.

Uncle Harry

"I don't think you can force these things. It will happen when it's gonna happen," he told Sky News back in 2015 when asked if the birth of his niece Princess Charlotte made him think about settling down. "Of course, I would love to have kids right now, but there's a process that one has to go through."

Planning for Her Little One

Years ago, Meghan even made a purchase with her future daughter in mind. "I've always coveted the Cartier French Tank watch. When I found out Suits had been picked up for our third season—which, at the time, felt like such a milestone—I totally splurged and bought the two-tone version," she recalled to Hello! in 2015. "I had it engraved on the back, 'To M.M. From M.M.' and I plan to give it to my daughter one day."

Waiting for That Special Someone

Fatherhood is a subject that—along with marriage—has long trailed Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana's younger son. "There have been moments through life, especially when we do a tour abroad, when I think, 'I'd love to have kids now'... And then there are other times when I bury my head in the sand going, 'All right, don't need kids!' There's no rush. I tell you what: There's been times I've been put off having children," he admitted to People back in May 2016, shortly before meeting his future wife. 

Looking Towards the Future

In 2017, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed their engagement and sat for their first joint interview. Naturally, the topic of future kids came up. "Of course. You know, I think you know one step at a time, and hopefully, we'll start a family in the near future," Prince Harry said at the time with Meghan smiling beside him.

Joys of Motherhood

"It's magic," Meghan said about becoming a mum following Archie's birth. "It's pretty amazing and, I mean, I have the two best guys in the world, so I'm really happy."

Proud Pops

Following Archie's birth in May 2019, Harry gushed, "It's been the most amazing experience I can ever possibly imagine. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension but we're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing so we just wanted to share this with everybody."

Changed for Good

Harry reflected on the lessons he's learned since becoming a parent during a speech at the National Youth Mentoring Summit in 2019. He shared, "I'm struck by a few things today, most of which is the power of the invisible role model. The person who may be sitting here today that doesn't realize that someone looks up to them that—for that person—you inspire them to be kinder, better, greater, more successful, more impactful. Perhaps it's the newfound clarity I have as a father knowing that my son will always be watching what I do, mimicking my behavior, one day maybe even following in my footsteps."

Doting on Archie

"Our little man is our No. 1 priority but then our work after that is the second priority," Prince Harry shared during a speaking engagement in 2020, "and we're just doing everything we can to try and play our part in trying to make the world a better place."

Archie's Firsts

Harry and Meghan found a silver lining amid the coronavirus pandemic through baby Archie. "In so many ways we are fortunate to be able to have this time to watch him grow, and in the absence of COVID, we would be traveling and working more externally," Meghan shared in October 2020. "We'd miss a lot of those moments. So I think it's been a lot of really good family time."

Harry added, "We were both there for Archie's first steps, his first run, his first fall, everything."

Awaiting Her Baby Girl's Arrival

In May 2021, Meghan made a rare TV appearance during Global Citizen's VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World special. The former actress opened up about her pregnancy and shared her excitement about raising a daughter. "My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter. It's a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world," she said at the time. "When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward."

She added, "Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take now to set them up, and set all of us up, for a successful, equitable and compassionate tomorrow."

Raising the Future

Meghan makes a brief cameo in her husband's Apple TV+ series with Oprah, The Me You Can't See. During her appearance, the California native seemingly pays tribute to her growing family with a shirt that reads, "Raising the Future."

Party of Four!

The couple welcomed their baby girl. In a statement shared on their Archewell Foundation page, they gushed, "On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we've felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family."

Book Worms

On June 8, 2021, Meghan will release her first children's book, The Bench, which is a celebration of fatherhood from a mother's perspective. Of her new project, she said in a press release in May, "The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father's Day, the month after Archie was born. That poem became this story."

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