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Prince Harry Tells Court of Security Concerns for Meghan Markle and Kids: 'I Cannot Put My Wife in Danger'

The Duke of Sussex said he wants his children — Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet — to "feel at home" in the U.K.

<p>Joshua Sammer/Getty</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games on Sept. 16, 2023

Joshua Sammer/Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games on Sept. 16, 2023

Prince Harry is continuing his fight for security in the U.K., saying he wants his children "to feel at home" in his native country — something that can't happen "if there is no possibility to keep them safe when they are on U.K. soil."

As part of a three-day hearing in London, his lawyers shared a statement from the Duke of Sussex, who did not appear in court. Harry said he "felt forced" to step back from his royal role and leave the U.K. in 2020, citing security concerns for his family: his wife, Meghan Markle, and their two children,  son Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2.

"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 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."

He continued, "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>Joshua Sammer/Getty</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games on Sept. 16, 2023

Joshua Sammer/Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games on Sept. 16, 2023

Related: Meghan Markle Steps Out in Santa Barbara amid Royal Book Controversy Wearing Bracelet from King Charles

The Duke of Sussex's lawyers are arguing against a February 2020 decision by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) to remove Harry's automatic right to U.K. police security. Although Prince Harry offered to cover the costs of security, the bid was rejected.

The Duke of Sussex's legal team has previously stated that he "does not feel safe" bringing his two children to the U.K.

<p>Lukas Schulze/Getty Images</p> Prince Harry at the 2023 Invictus Games

Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Prince Harry at the 2023 Invictus Games

"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," his lawyer Shaheed Fatima said in 2022 at the Royal Courts of Justice. "Most of all, this is, and always will be, his home."

Since their move to California in 2020, Meghan and Harry have only brought their children to the U.K. once: in 2022 when they attended Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee celebrations and marked Lili's first birthday at Frogmore Cottage, their former U.K. home in Windsor.

<p>Neil Mockford/GC Images</p> Prince Harry attends court hearing in London on June 6, 2023

Neil Mockford/GC Images

Prince Harry attends court hearing in London on June 6, 2023

Related: Prince Harry Fights for Police Protection in the U.K., Arguing the Potential 'Impact' of a Successful Attack

In a written statement obtained by PEOPLE, Prince Harry's attorneys said this week 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."

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The Home Office said RAVEC had considered the "likely significant public upset" that would stem from something happening to Prince Harry and was aware of the "tragic death" of his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997 after her vehicle was pursued by paparazzi.

However, the Home Office said that security for Prince Harry and his family should be decided on a case-by-case basis as his position had "materially changed" because "he would no longer be a working member of the Royal Family and would be living abroad for the majority of the time."

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Read the original article on People.