“The one saving grace of this whole situation is that they live 5,000 miles away,” the friend said. “The idea of them coming back here will go down like a bucket of warm sick.”
However, a friend of King Charles told The Daily Beast that they thought Charles would be “thrilled” to have Harry and his family back in the U.K. more often.
The differing royal reactions came after Harry revealed, while arguing in the High Court that he should still have the right to automatic police protection on British soil, that he wants his children to spend more time in the U.K.
He suggested the only thing stopping them was his family not having the right to the automatic police protection that they would have enjoyed as full time members of the Firm.
The latest developments in the ongoing legal battle came after the still-unsettled controversy over Charles and Kate being named as the alleged “royal racists” who questioned the skin color of the then-unborn Prince Archie. The palace is reportedly still considering its options, Prince William wants “action.” Harry and Meghan have not officially said anything, though sources say she did not give, or approve the passing of, private letters between her and Charles to author Omid Scobie, who claims to not know how their names ended up in a draft of his latest book, Endgame, which was published in the Netherlands.
On Thursday, to widespread disbelief voiced by his critics on social media, Harry argued in a statement submitted to the High Court that it was not a “choice” to leave the royal family, saying: “It was with great sadness for both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country in 2020.”
The argument that they were “forced” to leave will not, however, come as a huge surprise to many in the palace. Harry and Meghan had initially hoped to continue representing the monarchy on a part time basis, and have said they felt they had no choice but to quit completely when that was refused.
In a speech made shortly after the news first emerged, Harry said: “The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.”
But, complicating that narrative, Harry has also often appeared to suggest he and Meghan left the royal family because they wanted to be “free.”
In his famous interview with Oprah Winfrey, for example, he said that it was Meghan who showed him there was a “way out,” adding that he hadn’t realized he was “trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are. My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.”
In his book, Spare, Harry recalls that it was after getting a “taste of freedom” while holidaying in Canada that they began to wonder, “What if life could be like that all the time?”
And in a 2020 statement the couple said it was their “wish to live a more independent life as a family.”
A former courtier told The Daily Beast: “The idea that they had ‘no choice’ but to quit is a classic example of their ‘this is my truth’ concept. It’s just a figure of speech. It is not actually true. Of course they could have carried on if they had wanted to. They were not forced out.”
Casual observers of the Sussex-Windsor melodrama may also be confused by Harry’s newly-professed desire for him and his wife and kids to spend more time in the U.K., especially given that he previously said he and Meghan fled the country “in fear of our lives” and accused the country of not being “there for me” in his memoir Spare and said that “one day” the country would “look back” and wish it had been.
His court submission was more conciliatory, saying: “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 US. That cannot happen if it’s not possible to keep them safe when they are on U.K. soil.”
He concluded with what appeared to be an oblique reference to the death of his mother, who was killed when a car she was a passenger in crashed while being pursued by paparazzi in Paris, saying: “I cannot put my wife in danger like that and, given my experiences in life, I am reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too.”
Harry’s team have been arguing in court that Harry faces a permanent risk which “arises from his birth and ongoing status as the son of His Majesty the King.”
They said, “This case is about the right to safety and security. There could not be a right of greater importance to any of us.”
Lawyers for RAVEC, a British government body which decides on the level of police protection given to public figures, have argued that Harry has been afforded a “bespoke” security solution which adequately protects him and his family from danger while visiting the U.K. while operating within “finite” budgets.
Harry is arguing that such measures are inadequate, and, according to a report in the Guardian, has pointed as evidence to an incident in June 2021, when Harry’s car, after leaving an event for seriously ill children, “was interdicted by paparazzi.”
RAVEC responded that they had only been given 19 days’ notice of Harry’s plans for the day instead of the suggested 28 days.
Although most of the proceedings have been carried out behind closed doors as they touch on sensitive security matters, some items, such as Harry’s statement have been cleared for media reportage.
Asked why, if he was so enthusiastic to see lots of Harry and his family, Charles had evicted them from Frogmore Cottage where they would have had benefited from the enhanced security of being on the Windsor estate, the friend said: “He can’t be seen to be keeping luxury homes on standby for his children.”
According to the new book Endgame by Omid Scobie, Harry appealed to his father not to throw them out of the property, saying: “Don’t you want to see your grandchildren anymore?”
Scobie added that Princess Anne urged Charles to make the move kicking them off the royal estate.
The book also said Meghan “never wants to set foot again” in England “where she never felt at home.”
Neither the king’s nor William and Kate’s offices responded to queries asking if they would welcome Harry and his family spending more time in the U.K.