Prince Charles ‘invites Harry and Meghan to stay with him in the UK in hopes of meeting Lilibet for the first time’, sources claim – but Sussex’s refusal to return without Met Police protection casts doubt on reunion
- The Prince of Wales has not yet seen the granddaughter face to face since her birth in June
- The family has been communicating via a series of ‘good-natured’ calls in recent months
- But Harry’s concerns about safety are said to be a stumbling block
Prince Charles has invited Prince Harry and his family to stay with him in Britain in the hope of meeting Lilibet for the first time, it emerged tonight.
The Prince of Wales has yet to see his granddaughter face to face after she was born in California last June.
The offer, which would be the first time the family has come together completely since Harry and Meghan decided to stop working royals, was given just before Christmas, according to the Mirror.
However, his son’s refusal to return without a significant level of security from the Met police is said to have put the reunification in doubt.
In recent months, the family has been communicating via a series of ‘good-natured’ calls, sources told the newspaper.
The first picture of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter Lilibet was released on a Christmas card last month
Prince of Wales (center) during his visit to Haddo Country Park, Ellon, Aberdeenshire last week
What it really costs to guard Sussexes
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s security team in Canada consisted of at least six £ 60,000 a year Scotland Yard protection officers.
But experts say the true cost to each officer would have been closer to £ 100,000 a year, taking into account overtime, round-trip flights to the UK, pension contributions and the cost of living.
The couple spent more than three months in Canada before moving to California in March 2020, when they are reported to have hired the best security firm Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) used by A-lists including Jeff Bezos, Tom Hanks and Madonna .
The GDBA team – described as a ‘secret service to famous people’ – is rumored to cost around £ 7,000 a day, or £ 2.5 million a year.
Harry and Meghan have probably been provided with a team of six bodyguards, which could include former FBI and CIA intelligence officers working in rotation, with four on duty during the day and two at night.
The couple’s US security would have no jurisdiction in the UK or access to intelligence.
One said: ‘The Prince of Wales has been sad that he has not had the opportunity to spend time with his grandchildren, which he really misses.
‘He’s an amazing grandfather and loves to play the role incredibly much, and it’s certainly fair to say that he feels something is missing in his life without the ability to get to know Harry’s children.
“This is something he hopes to remedy, and so he gestured to Harry, Meghan and the children to stay with him if they wanted to when they had to come home for a period of time.”
It comes as a former head of royal protection today warned that Prince Harry ‘can not pick and choose’ when he wants to visit Britain and receive protection.
The Duke of Sussex should not expect bodyguards delivered to him when he decides to return home, Dai Davies said.
The former police officer pointed out that Princess Anne had almost been kidnapped and that her protection officer was shot – but she does not receive full-time protection.
His comments came when sources suggested the Queen would not help her grandson in his demands for security staff when he comes to the UK.
Insiders claimed the monarch had no intentions of ‘hollowing out his demands’ for protection from the Met and Home Office.
Prince Harry yesterday faced outrage over his threat of legal action against Her Majesty’s government.
He is seeking a judicial review of the decision to deprive him of his British police protection team, arguing that it is too dangerous to visit without Scotland Yard bodyguards.
Last night, there was anger over the unprecedented legal threat to the government when sources struck back, saying ‘Scotland Yard is not available for rent’.
Sir. Davies, who was chief operating officer for the royals from 1995, told GMB: ‘He chose to go to America, that’s his prerogative.
“And it’s our prerogative to make sure, when we look at every aspect of protection, every member of the royal family, that we actually see and assess it through various security agencies. That’s the core.
‘And it has been decided at this level, a level they will not give him protection because the risk at this stage is considered low.
“But should there be a risk when he comes, then it is clear that the Metropolitan Police are committed.”