former royal protection officer spoke about the likely reason why Prince Harry isn’t allowed to pay for his own police protection while in the UK. Speaking to the “Today” show in April, Prince Harry said he wants to attend the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in June which mark the monarch’s 70 years on the throne, but security issues could prevent him from doing so.
Harry and Meghan Markle gave up their right to publicly-funded police protection when they resigned from royal duties in April 2020. In September 2021, the prince appealed for a judicial review of a government decision that barred him from personally paying for police protection while in the UK. Simon Morgan, a former royal protection officer who worked for the Queen from 2007 until 2013, told Insider that the decision was likely made so not to set a “difficult precedent.” “When you get to a point where you can pay for it, that would set a difficult precedent. Because if you can pay for it, it can effectively go to the highest bidder,” Morgan told Insider.
“Anyone with a certain degree of wealth could pay for it… you’re looking at needs versus wants for protection,” he said. “And also, it comes down to something quite simple, there probably aren’t enough protection officers to fulfill that want.” The Met Police declined to comment when contacted by Insider. While representatives for the Duke of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, a legal spokesperson for Prince Harry said in a statement obtained by Omid Scobie in January that while the Sussexes have a private security team in the US, “that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection while in the UK.”
The spokesperson added that Harry’s security was “compromised” during a visit to the UK in July 2021 due to the absence of police protection.Morgan, who set up his own private security firm, Trojan Consultancy, after leaving the royal household, told Insider that it’s not surprising that Harry’s preference is police protection over a private firm.
“The Duke of Sussex has grown up with cradle to grave police protection, and he clearly values that skillset,” Morgan said. “But when you step outside of that, there aren’t a lot of teams that have experience with dealing with such high profile principles.” Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.