Prince Harry’s fight to have armed security when he visits Britain has cost UK taxpayers nearly £300,000.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, started a High Court Judicial Review 18 months ago after his right to guards was scrapped when he stepped back from royal duties in 2020 with his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 41, for a new life in America.
Even though he offered to pay for protection, he was told UK police were not “guns for hire” and figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by The Sun newspaper have revealed that the court case has already cost the UK Government £296,882 to defend.
A source told the publication: “(Harry) claims not to want taxpayers to foot the bill for his guards – but they are being made to pay hundreds of thousands for his court case.”
The bill so far for the case, which has been rumbling along since autumn 2021, includes £199,978.52 on legal department costs, £93,268 on general counsel and £660 for court fees.
Former Scotland Yard commander John O’Connor blasted Harry’s armed protection demand as “vanity”,
He hit out: “To expect protection provided by the state is arrogant and irrational.
It is only vanity anyway. He only wants protection because he thinks his importance is downgraded without it.
“The taxpayer should not have to pay a single penny towards this case.”
Harry claims he, his wife Meghan and their two children Archie, three, and 20-month-old Lilibet, are unsafe in Britain even though they still get armed guards when they visit the UK for official events and while at their Frogmore Cottage home in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
It is thought the royal’s ongoing case against the Home Office may go before the High Court in early April, but it is not known if a ruling will be reached before Harry’s father is crowned at Westminster Abbey four weeks later.
Harry and Meghan are yet to confirm if they will be at King Charles’ May 6 coronation and a government spokesperson said it would “not be appropriate” to comment on the ongoing protection case.