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Prince Harry Said He "Felt Forced" to Leave the U.K. Because of Security Concerns

"I cannot put my wife in danger."

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped away from their respective roles as senior royals back in 2020, they never really offered up a concrete reason as to why they decamped to the United States, instead choosing to focus on their philanthropy and projects with Netflix and Spotify. Now, Harry is giving a glimpse into the reason why he moved his family to America via a court case in London. As part of a three-day hearing, Harry's lawyers shared a statement from the Duke of Sussex that said Harry "felt forced" to vacate his role in the royal family and leave the U.K. because of security concerns for his family. Though he did not appear in court, his statement stressed that he wanted his children Archie and Lilibet "to feel at home" in his native country and feels that can't happen "if there is no possibility to keep them safe when they are on U.K. soil."

<p>Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP</p>

Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP

"It was with great sadness to both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country in 2020," he said in the statement, according to a report from ITV. "The U.K. is my home. The U.K. is central to the heritage of my children and a place I want them to feel at home as much as where they live at the moment in the United States. That cannot happen if there is no possibility to keep them safe when they are on U.K. soil."

His statement finished, "I can't put my wife in danger like that, and given my experiences in life, I'm reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm's way, too."

<p>Taylor Hill/WireImage</p>

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Related: Prince Archie’s Godfather Reportedly Snubbed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry from His Wedding Guest List

Harry's legal team is currently arguing against a February 2020 legal decision that was made by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC). The committee essentially removed Harry's automatic right to U.K. police security. Even though Harry proposed that he pay for the security himself, his request was rejected. 

"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," Harry's lawyer Shaheed Fatima said in 2022. "Most of all, this is, and always will be, his home."

In a written statement obtained by People, Harry's attorneys explained that RAVEC "should have considered the 'impact' that a successful attack on the claimant would have, bearing in mind his status, background, and profile within the royal family — which he was born into and which he will have for the rest of his life. RAVEC should have considered, in particular, the impact on the U.K.’s reputation of a successful attack on the claimant."

Since leaving the United Kingdom, Harry and Meghan have only brought their family back one time, which coincided with Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022. 

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