Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may stay at Frogmore Cottage over the bank holiday and only leave for two Platinum Jubilee events as they were denied VIP 24/7 by UK police, experts told the Daily Mail today Armed protection.
The Sussexes and their two young children are expected to arrive in the UK on Wednesday, just months after Harry claimed he “couldn’t go home” because it was too dangerous.
But after a secret visit to Windsor Castle in late April to see the Queen, the sixth in line to the throne has been given a “cast iron guarantee” that he, Meghan, Archie and Lilibet will be part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations starting tomorrow is protected and ends on Sunday. This is Meghan’s second return to the UK after stepping down from royal duties in 2020.
Former Royal Protection officer Simon Morgan told the Daily Mail today that Harry would not be able to influence MI5, the Home Office and the Foreign Office’s decisions even if he put pressure on his grandmother. As a result, they may be forced to keep a “low profile” during their stay, rather than organizing their own events.
Mr Morgan, who now runs security business Trojan Consultancy, said: “If they lived in Frogmore Cottage they would be very safe there and that’s probably why they wouldn’t be doing anything outside the main Platinum Jubilee event because they wouldn’t have Protect’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are believed to be traveling without any senior staff and a small security team, leaving their most trusted employees at home in California, according to people familiar with their travel plans.
Their bodyguards, including those responsible for the security of Barack Obama and Michael Jackson, will not be able to carry firearms in the UK, and the Metropolitan Police will prioritise security once they get off the plane.
British officers will be on guard at Frogmore Cottage, where they will be under 24/7 protection. But that doesn’t extend to private events, such as socializing with friends in restaurants and bars or going to shops near the Queen’s Windsor Castle estate.
The couple are expected to join the Queen for a Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday morning – as well as a BBC party at the palace the following evening. Simon Morgan wants them armed at these events and on the journey to and from Windsor as they plan for security operations in the Jubilee.
“The Jubilee is one of the riskiest events in years – the Met has a responsibility to protect those who attend, especially the royal family and foreign dignitaries,” Mr Morgan said.
Harry and Meghan play volleyball together during the Invictus Games at Zuiderpark in April
In April, the couple hired Christopher Sanchez, President Obama’s former bodyguard, a burly man with gray hair behind the Duchess of Invictus.
The Sussexes are expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage, where they will throw a small party for Lilibet, with the Queen likely to attend
It’s understood the Met’s royal and expert conservation services have spent weeks liaising with Harry’s team to ensure taxpayer-funded officials are taking care of them as much as possible, Mirror Report.
Lilibet will turn one on Saturday and the party at Frogmore is expected to be attended by members of the royal family, such as Princess Eugenie, who is close to Harry and Meghan, and if the Queen does not attend Epsom Derby, she may too. It will be the first time the monarch has seen her great-granddaughter named after her.
But Prince William and Kate will not be there, as they will represent Her Majesty the Queen in Cardiff, as senior working royals will be sent to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to mark the Queen’s 70th anniversary.
Harry and Meghan are expected to join the Queen at a Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday morning, as well as a BBC party at the palace the following evening, reports say.
But the source added that the Sussexes would not host their own programme of events while in the UK to avoid overshadowing a four-day weekend celebration of Harry’s 96-year-old grandmother’s 70-year reign.
This suggests they may remain on the grounds at Windsor Castle, where they will remain under the protection of armed police at all times. But that doesn’t extend to when they’re out for private events, like socializing with friends at restaurants and bars or going to the store.
Britain’s stance is in stark contrast to the couple’s treatment at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in April, where they achieved VVIP status.
A former U.S. presidential operative was assigned to provide the couple with personal protection, with armed protection officers usually guarding the Dutch king providing security outside the venue. A Land Rover and two other private security guards drove Harry and Meghan’s car, and an unmarked car contained two members of the Royal Dutch Conservation Team.
Security experts, including Mr Morgan, said at the time they “couldn’t understand” why Harry felt safe in the Netherlands but not in the UK.
Harry, 37, is taking legal action against the Home Office after he was stripped of permanent police protection following his resignation as a frontline royal.
Harry has since claimed he felt unsafe under these security arrangements when bringing his family to the UK and “couldn’t go home” for fear it was too dangerous. He even offered to pay his own British police bodyguards – but the Met said their guards couldn’t get paid.
Harry and Meghan pictured with son Archie, three, and daughter Lilibet, who turns one this weekend
Prince Harry is taking legal action against the government over its decision to lift his security (above, Harry and Meghan with bodyguards in New Zealand in 2018)
Police patrol Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018
Sources have told the Mirror that he has been “in favour” of returning to the UK for the Queen’s celebrations, despite insisting its officers are not “hiring guns”.
At their US home, Harry and Meghan are protected by a 24-hour security team, including 12 former special forces personnel.
A source said: “For Harry, this has always been about protecting his family.
“He has been in touch with the relevant parties and has made it clear that he will not travel without the ironclad assurances of his family’s safety.”
“He is satisfied that the correct procedures are in place and they are all very much looking forward to the celebrations this week and of course to spend time with Her Majesty.”
It comes after the couple had a brief, secret meeting with Prince Charles before flying to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games earlier this month.
At the meeting, Harry and Meghan promised they would introduce the Queen to Lilibet, who is named after her.
With the Queen expected to pace herself over the four-day bank holiday weekend, extending that time so the nation can celebrate the jubilee, there is speculation she won’t be heading to the Epsom Racecourse for the derby on Saturday as she has no runners, despite another One of her thoroughbreds entered the race.
The Duke and Ferrandana Joe Figueres played their final polo match in Santa Barbara on Sunday, before Prince Harry and his family traveled to London to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee
The day could be the perfect opportunity for the royal family to come together to christen Lilibet at Windsor Castle as they celebrate the child’s first birthday.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment on the reports, saying: “Frogmore Cottage remains the UK home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
The Daily Mail revealed on Saturday that the Queen will spend time with her family on Saturday to celebrate Lilibet’s birthday.
She never met her great-granddaughter, nor did she meet Archie in person because he was a baby brought to Canada and the United States by his parents.
There has also been speculation that the couple may try to have Lilibet baptized in their private chapel at Windsor Castle, where Archie was also baptized in 2019.
Earlier this week, he shared an Instagram post praising Duke, writing: “It’s such a joy to see you smiling and so happy. I love being your teammate.