Prince Harry Says He Ultimately Abandoned Royal Life Out Of Fear For His Safety

In March 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle joined a rather short list of royals who live or have lived in the United States. The prince's cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, both lived in New York for a few years for their careers. Royals outside the British monarchy, such as Princess Madeleine of Sweden, have also called the states home for a short period. But there are some major differences between them and the Sussexes.

Many of the royals who have taken up residence in the U.S. end up moving back to their home country, and even if they split their time, they're still afforded certain luxuries and protections when they visit. But that's not the case for the Sussexes. It's unclear if Harry and Meghan will ever return to the United Kingdom, especially since their security detail was stripped from them despite being a prince and princess in Harry's homeland.

As part of an ongoing case in which the prince is asking the government to reconsider the removal of his protection team when he and his family visit the United Kingdom, Harry stated that he had no other choice but to remove himself from his duties as a working royal and leave the country because he feared for his safety and the safety of his family, reports The Telegraph.

Prince Harry claims he never had a choice

Extreme notoriety is enough to make a person feel unsafe. Even in the United States, Hollywood's "American royalty" can find themselves in scary situations with fans. But the royals' popularity in Britain is on another level, especially considering there is a mysterious but "mutually beneficial relationship between the royal family and the British tabloids," as Harry told Oprah Winfrey via The New York Times. And when public sentimentality turns against you, Harry seems to allude to the fact that it can be downright terrifying.

In a written statement, the Duke of Sussex claimed, "The UK is my home, and the UK is central to the heritage of my children. It is a place I want them to feel at home as much as where they live in the United States. That cannot happen if it is not possible to keep them safe when they are on UK soil." It was his response to comments made during his police protection case that proposed it was his choice to step back as a member of the royal working family; therefore, he should not receive automatic police protection when in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, his barrister (a British position similar to a U.S. trial lawyer) Shaheed Fatima KC has disputed that the prince ever had a choice, noting Harry's statement that read, "It was with great sadness for the both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country."

Harry was not the only one who felt threatened

During their docuseries for Netflix, "Harry & Meghan," Meghan Markle tearfully detailed the shock and terror she felt when reviewing flagged security threats. While reviewing the manual her head of security had passed to her team, she saw an example of a threatening tweet that read, "'Meghan just needs to die. Someone needs to kill her. Maybe it should be me.'" The Duchess continued, "I'm a mom. That's my real life. And that's the piece when you see it and you go, 'You are making people want to kill me. It's not just a tabloid. It's not just some story. You are making me scared.'"

During their engagement, Meghan recalled the first time she saw tabloid fodder intrude on her real life when a woman approached her. She admonished her for how she was treating her father. The interaction really hit home for the Duchess because she realized people were actually taking to heart what the tabloids were printing instead of simply dismissing it as gossip. Prince Harry has since taken up a libel case against The Daily Mail as well as cases against The Sun and The Daily Mirror.

Though a reconciliation with King Charles may be on the horizon, with both the Duke and Duchess maintaining that they left because they feared for their and their children's safety after it was jeopardized due to the lack of police protection, it seems unlikely they'll be heading overseas together anytime soon.