Prince Harry Will Not Return to U.K. for Thanksgiving Service Honoring Grandfather Prince Philip This Month

Prince Harry previously sought a judicial review against a decision preventing him from personally funding police protection for himself and his family while in the U.K.

Prince Harry and Prince Phillip
Prince Harry and Prince Philip. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty

Prince Harry will not return to the U.K. this month to attend a Service of Thanksgiving honoring his late grandfather, Prince Philip.

On Friday a spokesperson for Prince Harry, who relocated to California with wife Meghan Markle in 2020, confirmed that he would not travel to London for the March 29 service but said that he hopes to visit his grandmother, 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth, as soon as possible.

The service at Westminster Abbey will provide an opportunity for representatives of the many charities and organizations that Prince Philip worked with to pay tribute to him. His funeral last April had a 30-person limit due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, allowing for only his wife, four children, eight grandchildren (including Harry) and other close family members and friends to attend.

The Funeral Of Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh Is Held In Windsor
Prince William, Peter Phillips and Prince Harry. Samir Hussein - Pool/Wireimage

In addition to traveling back to the U.K. to attend Prince Philip's funeral, Prince Harry also returned in June to unveil a statue of his late mother, Princess Diana, in the Kensington Palace gardens alongside his brother, Prince William.

Meghan and the couple's two children — 2-year-old Archie Harrison and 9-month-old Lilibet Diana — did not make the trip across the pond on either occasion.

Princess Diana Statue
Prince William and Prince Harry. Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty

Last month, Prince Harry's legal team said that he "does not feel safe" bringing his children to the U.K. following the loss of his taxpayer funded police protection.

Speaking at a preliminary hearing to have the protection reinstated — which Prince Harry did not attend in person — the Duke of Sussex's attorney Shaheed Fatima expressed Harry's concerns over the security arrangements put in place when he and Meghan stepped back from royal duties in January 2020.

The couple lost their public-funded protection in the U.K. and have privately paid for their own security in the U.S. They were also later told that they could not pay for U.K. police protection out of their own pockets. This means that if they return to the U.K., they will not be entitled to state-funded protection and the deep level of security intelligence that comes with it.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty

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"This claim is about the fact that the claimant does not feel safe when he is in the U.K. given the security arrangements that were applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him if he decides to come back," Fatima said at the Royal Courts of Justice, reported The Guardian.

"And, of course, it should go without saying that he wants to come back: to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart," the lawyer added. "Most of all, this is, and always will be, his home."

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