Meghan will join Harry on her first trip to Europe for two years since the couple quit as working royals more than two years ago. Their trip to the international games for injured military veterans in The Hague is regarded as a high-profile event warranting protection by the national police’s DKDB Royal and Diplomatic Security Service and another other state security service, according to sources and media reports in the Netherlands.
It comes amid a legal row between Harry and the British Government over the Home Office’s refusal to allow him to receive automatic police protection when he comes to Britain or for him to pay the Metropolitan Police for his security.
Harry, 37, has claimed that it is not safe for him or Meghan, 40, to return to Britain with their children, Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet because the police here will not let his private security team use guns or tap into national intelligence.
It is understood that the Dutch authorities will also not let his team do either but they have taken responsibility for his and Meghan’s protection while they are in the Netherlands for the games, which begin on Saturday.
The couple, whose relationships with the Royal Family have been strained by a number of controversies, are not currently expected to come to Britain on this European trip to see the Queen for her 96th birthday.
Harry and Meghan, who were stripped of all royal responsibilities in Britain after quitting their senior roles, will not be staying with the Dutch royal family or receive an audience with King Willem-Alexander or Queen Maxima while they are in The Hague. But the King is expected to attend the closing ceremony and his aunt, Princess Margriet, is honorary chairwoman of the games.
Their decision to attend the games has aroused controversy after their refusal to go to Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey on March 29, when they would almost certainly have also received police protection.
British officials have taken the view that their security requirements and the risk should be assessed on each occasion. When Harry returned for his grandfather’s funeral in April last year it was deemed a high-profile event for which he should receive police protection.
But when he travelled to London last summer to see charities and unveil a statue of his late mother Princess Diana at Kensington Palace, they decided he did not warrant it.
Dai Davies, a former head of royal protection at Scotland Yard, said the idea that Britain was unsafe for Harry to visit was “sheer unadulterated nonsense”.
He said Harry would get the same risk assessment as every other royal. “Most of them now don’t get full-time protection or even half-time protection, so the truth is the UK is far safer than most other places.
“And with great respect, Harry is not an expert in security.”
Mr Davies said that if Harry had attended the memorial service for Philip last month he would have been protected due to being with family members. “But he chose not to. That’s his prerogative,” he said.