Prince Charles protected Duchess Camilla before their marriage by employing retired police officers, a palace source has revealed.
- Prince Charles privately paid 'retired' officers to be Duchess Camilla's security before they married, according to royal sources.
- Prince Harry, who is currently refusing to return to the UK over a security conflict, has now been urged to do the same.
- In other royal news, Zara and Mike Tindall confuse Australian interviewer with tropical background.
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).
"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.
"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 is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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