Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle last visited the U.K. with Prince Harry for Queen Elizabeth's funeral events, as seen here in this photo, in September 2022. Photo: Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images/IBTimes Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images/IBTimes

Prince Harry stressed the importance of having police protection during visits to the U.K. with Meghan Markle and their children in a statement read in a London court on Thursday as part of his on-going fight for security in the country.

Lawyers for the Duke of Sussex shared the statement which cited security reasons in the couple's decision to leave their royal duties in 2020. He said they "felt forced" to leave and shared his desire for his family, including children Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two, to feel at home in the U.K.

"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 obtained by ITV.

The statement continued: "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."

However, Prince Harry argued that his family cannot feel at home in the U.K. "if it is not possible to keep them safe when they are on U.K. soil". He wrote: "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."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were stripped of their taxpayer-funded security when they left their royal duties, now famously called Megxit, in 2020. His lawyers are contesting a decision made by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) in February 2020 to remove his automatic right to police protection.

Prince Harry has since said that he "does not feel safe" bringing his two children to the U.K. He has since offered to personally fund for his and his family's security while in the country, a bid which the Home Office rejected.

The duke's lawyers have since argued that despite being no longer a working royal, it is still his birthright to have security, given that he is still the son of King Charles III and remains the fifth in line to the British throne.

In a statement obtained by People, Prince Harry's attorneys said 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".

Meanwhile, the Home Office said RAVEC had considered the "likely significant public upset" that could ensue should something happen to the Duke of Sussex while in the U.K. and cited the "tragic death" of Princess Diana from a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.

However, the Home Office argued that security for Prince Harry and his family should be decided on a case-to-case case basis given that his position had "materially changed" because he is no longer a working royal and now lives in the U.S.A.

Prince Harry has only made a few visits to his home country in the years since Megxit. He was last in London in September for the WellChild Awards and to visit Queen Elizabeth II's resting place on the first anniversary of her death on September 8.

Meanwhile, it has been over a year since Meghan Markle stepped foot in U.K. soil after attending Queen Elizabeth II's funeral events with Prince Harry in September 2022. The couple also brought Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year in June and celebrated their daughter's first birthday on June 4 at their former home at Frogmore Cottage.