The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, is bearing the brunt of online criticism following his unsuccessful attempt to finance his own police protection during visits to the UK. The controversy arises three years after his decision to retreat from royal responsibilities.
Prince Harry had sought a judicial review of the British government's refusal to accept his proposal for personally funded police security for his family when in his native country. However, on Tuesday, a UK judge decreed that the Duke would not be allowed to petition for such a review, as reported by People.
Subsequent to the ruling, a series of Twitter users castigated Prince Harry, suggesting he was likely aware of the potential loss of police protection when he resigned from his royal duties. Critics hypothesized that his legal pursuit was more a demonstration of "ego" than concerns about safety.
One Twitter commentator argued, "It was explained to him repeatedly that this would happen if he chose to step down as a senior working royal. No one will have blood on their hands if something happens. This isn't about risk, it's about his ego."
Another user chided, "Harry is an entitled prince, thinking he can throw a tantrum and everyone [would] follow what he says. Grow up, Harry. Make your own life."
While many endorsed the court's decision, a few Twitter users expressed sympathy for Prince Harry. One supporter contended, "This is ridiculous. He should receive protection. He is not a celebrity, he is the King's son."
"If he's willing to pay for his own police protection, then why not? He's not a 'working royal' anymore, so he should pay out of his own pocket," another user defended.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle forfeited their police protection among other privileges when they opted to step back from royal duties three years ago. Feeling unsafe bringing his children, Archie and Lilibet, to his home country without a police security detail, Harry offered to pay for the protection himself. His request was denied by the UK Home Office and the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC).
The Home Office contended that it was inappropriate for "wealthy individuals to 'buy' Protective Security from specialist police officers," as per CNN. Harry is concurrently involved in a separate legal case challenging the denial of security provision in the UK.