Prince Harry may cancel upcoming UK trip for Invictus Games Service over security fears

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leaves Westminster Abbey after the Coronation Ceremonies of Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Queen Camilla in central London on May 6, 2023.
Prince Harry is said to be thinking of cancelling his upcoming trip to the UK -Credit:ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry is considering making a virtual appearance at the Invictus Games 10th Anniversary Service due to ongoing security concerns.

The Duke of Sussex is said to be thinking of ditching his planned trip to the UK next month and instead attending via video link or sending a pre-recorded message after his recent legal setback over security arrangements in Britain.

The 39-year-old, who founded the Invictus Games back in 2014 to aid the rehabilitation of wounded veterans through international sporting events, is currently in talks over whether to attend the event at St. Paul’s Cathedral on May 8 in person.

His hesitance comes after he lost a bid to appeal his case against the Home Office over police protection, meaning he doesn't have the automatic right to use the royal security services, the Express reports.

A source said: "Whenever Harry travels to the UK, his trips are always dependent on how secure he is.

Britain's Prince Harry, right, and wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the 2024 Royal Salute Polo Challenge to Benefit Sentebale, Friday, April 12, 2024, in Wellington, Fla.
Harry and Meghan relocated to the US four years ago -Credit:AP

"Before deciding whether to attend the Invictus Games anniversary event, his security team must be sure that St. Paul’s is adequately protected by the Metropolitan Police and his own security needs are met while he’s in London."

The duke's recent legal battle centred on the Home Office's refusal to let him pay for police protection when he visits the UK.

Since quitting the Royal Family with his wife, Meghan Markle, in 2020, the Sussexes' have been living in the US.

The UK government's stance is that when he visits Britain, his security should be self-funded, except during official royal events or when accompanying the royal family.

The source added: "Harry wants to spend more time in the UK with his family. But there’s no way he can do that while a question mark hangs over his security detail."

Harry's claim for heightened protection was dismissed in February following two and a half years of legal wrangling.

Court documents released last week revealed that his application to appeal the ruling was also turned down by the judge along with his request to pay just 40 percent of the government’s costs, which exceeded £500,000.

The judge instead ordered him to pay 90 percent which means that Harry now faces an estimated cost of £1 million, including his own legal fees.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, leaves the High Court after attending the fourth day of the preliminary hearing in a privacy case against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mail, over alleged phone-tapping and privacy breaches in London, United Kingdom on March 30, 2023.
The Duke lost his royal security in the UK when he stepped down from the Firm in 2020 -Credit:Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The insider said: “Harry is extremely disappointed by the decisions made regarding his security. His request for security was not just for his personal safety but also for his family, the public and the officers assigned to him.”

Despite his huge loss, the source insists that Harry is committed to the Invictus Games and its participants.

The upcoming 10th anniversary service marks ten years since he launched the international multi-sport event.

As he finalises plans to attend, Harry may need to settle for a virtual appearance if his plans don't work with what security arrangements are on offer during the event.

The source said: “Discussions with the relevant departments are ongoing. Harry won’t attend if his team feels like his security might be compromised in any way.”

Meanwhile, security experts believe that this situation might set a precedent for how the duke's visits to the UK will be managed in the future, particularly in light of the evolving role and geographic location of Harry and his family.

Meghan and Harry The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie and Lilibet.
Harry and Meghan with their two kids, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet -Credit:Alexi Lubomirski/Instagram

Just last week, it was revealed that Harry has updated his official records in the UK so that his primary residence has now been listed as the US.

Filings published by Companies House for 'Prince Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex' show that his 'New Country/State Usually Resident' is now in the States.

This move comes as the pressure builds on US President Joe Biden's government to release Harry's visa records.

The source concluded: “It’s not news that Harry’s main residence is now in the United States. He had to register his permanent address when he was evicted from Frogmore and that was done last June.

"He’s been living in Montecito with his family since last summer and everybody knows it.”

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