How Prince Charles protected Camilla before their marriage

Prince Harry has now been advised to follow his father's example

How Prince Charles protected Camilla before their marriage
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Charles protected Duchess Camilla before their marriage by employing retired police officers, a palace source has revealed. 

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall may currently enjoy round-the-clock security, but it hasn't always been that way. 

Camilla Parker Bowles was not entitled to police protection until she married into the Royal Family in 2005, despite having been in a public relationship with Charles since 1999. 

It's understood that the future King, concerned for his high-profile partner's safety, decided to fund her security privately instead—an idea that has now been recommended to relieve Prince Harry's fears over lack of protection for Meghan and his children in the UK. 

According to an unearthed Guardian article from 2002, Charles hired "two full-time security staff" to protect Camilla, paying for their services out of his own pocket rather than the royal protection budget. It has since been revealed that these two guards were retired PPOs (Police Protection Officers). 

Camilla and Charles in 2002

Prince Charles privately funded Duchess Camilla's security before they married 

(Image credit: Getty)

"These elite ex-officers know all the protocols and could liaise with active protection officers," royal expert Russell Meyers said on Twitter. 

He then suggested that the Duchess of Sussex take a similar approach to protecting his wife, Meghan Markle, and their two children on his next visit to Britain. Prince Harry has offered to personally pay for his family's security in the UK but is reportedly determined to have the Scotland Yard police, rather than retired officers, do the job. 

Harry and Meghan 2021

Prince Harry is refusing to return to the UK unless the Home Office guarantee him and his family Scotland Yard security 

(Image credit: Getty)

"If Harry wants 'Scotland Yard' protection when he comes to the UK why doesn’t he pay the going rate for a retired S014 PPOs [police protection officers] like Charles did for Camilla for years before they married," Russell added. 

Prince Harry is now threatening to sue the Home Office for refusing to allow him to pay for Scotland Yard security. The conflict has shed doubts over reports that he would fly back to London for a long-awaited Royal Family reunion at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee this summer. 

Meanwhile, the Duke's legal representative has released the following statement: 

"Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.

"While his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the royal family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home."

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.