LONDON – Prince Harry says he wants to return to the UK because Queen Elizabeth II’s upcoming platinum anniversary and so his children could spend time with their great-grandmother, but warned that “security issues” could get in the way.
“I still do not know. There’s a lot going on, with security issues and everything else,” Harry told “TODAY” co-host Hoda Kotb in an exclusive interview with discussion of the Fifth Invictus Gamea sports competition for wounded and sick service members and veterans he founded.
Harry, 37, said he was “trying to make it possible” to return to the UK with his children, Archie and Lilibet, so they can get to know his hometown and spend time with Elizabeth, who turned 96 on Thursday. Lilibet, who was born in the United States in June, has not met her great-grandmother and other members of the royal family.
The Duke of Sussex has locked in battle with the British government about the decision to block him from paying for police protection during his visits to the UK, Harry has said he wants to pay for police protection himself, rather than asking those who submit Taxpayers in the UK forward the bill, but he has been told he cannot do so without- in advance from the UK Home Office.
Without proper police protection, Harry’s legal representative would have previously saidIt would be too risky for the prince, his wife Meghan and their children to visit the UK from Santa Barbara, California, where they currently live.
Harry also told Kotb how great it is to spend time with his grandma earlier this month after he and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, quietly meet the king over tea.
The meeting was their first time since the couple Royal resignation to high-level work and moving to North America in 2020, with the two talking about pressure they face in their roles and accusations by members of the British media of racist treatment of Meghan.
Harry told Kotb that the queen appeared in “wonderful form” after a covid. “Being with her, it was great,” he said. “It was nice to meet her, you know.”
The prince said he wanted to make sure his grandmother was “protected” and “having the right people around her.”
He also commended the queen for her “great sense of humour” and said he still shares a “really special bond” with his grandmother.
“We talked about things she couldn’t tell anyone else,” he said.
Asked later if he misses his family, he said “Of course, that’s a huge part of it.” However, he said, he focused on the families represented at the Invictus Games.
“That’s my focus here. And when I leave here, I come back and my focus is on my family, who I miss so much,” he said of his wife and two children.
The prince said he loves everything about fatherhood, including “the chaos, the learning, the reminder of every element of yourself, your soul.”
“I always wanted to be a father. I’ve always wanted to have kids of my own and now, I have two little ones that I’m responsible for,” he said.
He said that while it can feel “complicated” at times having to “start over” life “from a blank canvas”, with the move to the US, he and Meghan are committed to building a future for their family. their family “together as husband and wife forever.”
When asked by Kotb if he ever talked about his mother, Princess Diana, with her son Archie, now that he was old enough, Harry replied: “A lot.”
“I didn’t tell him everything that happened, but I’m sure you know this, Diana, and we have a few pictures in the house,” he said.
Harry said he can still feel his mother’s presence, especially in the “last two years, more than ever”.
“I feel her presence in almost everything I do now,” he said.
Laura Saravia contribute.