Harry told Oprah of shock at removal of security and how he pushed back

The Duke of Sussex said while he and his wife had changed status in stepping back from their royal roles, the risk remained.

Aine Fox
Saturday 15 January 2022 22:37
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey of their shock and concerns at security being removed when they stepped back from royal life (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey of their shock and concerns at security being removed when they stepped back from royal life (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA)

Having his security detail removed came as a “shock”, the Duke of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey in the bombshell interview about his departure from royal life alongside his wife.

Harry told the US television host he “never thought” he would have his security detail removed upon deciding to step back from royal duties, and had “pushed back” at the time.

During the sit-down interview, broadcast in March last year, the Duchess of Sussex said she had written to her husband’s family urging them not to “pull his security”.

Their justification was a change in status. I pushed back and said is there a change of threat or risk?

Duke of Sussex

Harry said: “I was born into this position. I inherited the risk. So that was a shock to me.”

Meghan said that despite her pleas, the couple had been told “it’s just not possible”.

She said: “I even wrote letters to his family saying: ‘Please, it’s very clear the protection of me or Archie is not a priority, I accept that, that is fine – please keep my husband safe. I see the death threats, I see the racist propaganda, please keep him safe, please don’t pull his security and announce to the world when he and we are most vulnerable.’

“And they said it’s just not possible.”

Harry said while he and Meghan had changed status in stepping back from their royal roles, the risk remained.

Gripping his wife’s hand, he said: “Their justification was a change in status. I pushed back and said is there a change of threat or risk?

“Eventually, I got the confirmation that no, the risk hasn’t changed but due to our change of status – we would no longer be ‘official’ members of the royal family.”

Harry said he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous (Toby Melville/PA)

Harry first offered to personally pay for police protection in the UK for himself and his family during the so-called Sandringham summit in January 2020, but a legal representative for the duke said that offer “was dismissed”.

Harry has now filed a claim for a judicial review against a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for such protection while in the UK.

The legal representative said he wants to bring his son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet to visit from the US, but the family-of-four are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous.

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