Woman (UK)

Prince Harry forced TO GO IT ALONE

The duke was ‘close to tears’ when he had to say goodbye to his protection officers

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By stripping Harry of his Met Police protection officers, Prince Charles robbed the wayward royal of one of the few constants in his life.

From before he was even born, a group of highly trained, hand-picked officers from the force’s elite SO14 unit were there to keep Harry from harm.

This 24-hour protection literally kept the young royal safe every second of his life (with the short exception of when Harry served in Afghanista­n).

It is therefore unsurprisi­ng that Harry would, over the years, form a strong bond with a handful of protection officers who became friends, mentors and a shoulder to cry on.

Until relatively recently, Harry shared his beloved protection officers with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, filling shifts from a small pool.

William and Harry would often pass messages to each other via trusted members of their detail and the boys enjoyed banter with them.

This week, one of Harry’s former bodyguards told me the prince was ‘close to tears’ when he had to wave goodbye to the taxpayer-funded team.

The retired officer said the ‘bond’ both Harry and William had with their protection officers went far beyond just providing day-to-day protection.

In one case, Harry was protected by the same officer for 30 years, while another is thought to be on the shortlist for godparent to Archie’s sister.

The source said that Harry contacted each of his protection team in person to say goodbye and wish them luck. He even jokingly offered them jobs, but may well have been half-serious.

Prince Charles felt he had no choice but to save the taxpayer the enormous bill of protecting Harry overseas.

Without his police protection officers, Harry has lost daily contact with the few people on Earth he trusted with his life.

This will only have added to the sense of isolation Harry is feeling as he tries to find a new normal in America.

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