Prince Harry Becoming US Citizen is ‘Inevitability’

Prince Harry’s failure to regain his government-funded full-time bodyguards in Britain makes a potential bid to become a U.S. citizen a “mild inevitability,” Newsweek‘s chief royal correspondent, Jack Royston, told listeners in a new episode of The Royal Report podcast.

In February, a judge ruled against Harry in his bid to overhaul the decision made by RAVEC (Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures) in Britain to remove his state-funded security detail after he stepped down as a working royal in 2020.

Harry’s legal team previously argued that without his full-time protection, the prince does not feel safe taking his family to Britain. In his ruling, the judge said that RAVEC had acted legally in its decision-making process. The prince’s lawyers said that he will appeal the judgment.

Discussing the case loss in a new episode of The Royal Report, Royston noted that it could push the prince towards making America his permanent home—with the added step of becoming a full U.S. citizen thrown in.

Prince Harry U.S. Citizenship
Composite image showing Prince Harry. The royal has said that he’s considered becoming a U.S. citizen.

Handout/Sport Gives Back Awards via Getty Images

A recent filing with one of his charities revealed that Harry now lists his home in Montecito, California as his permanent place of residency. Previously it had been the Windsor property of Frogmore Cottage, which the Sussexes were asked to vacate in 2023.

In February 2024, Harry told an interviewer that he had “considered” becoming a U.S. citizen. “American citizenship is a thought that has crossed my mind but isn’t something that’s a high priority for me right now,” he said.

With this in mind, Royston notes that the recent developments in Britain could sway the prince towards making a decision.

“I am starting to lean more towards feeling like Harry applying for U.S. citizenship in a permanent way is becoming something of a mild inevitability,” he told listeners.

“Not necessarily a pressing urgency, but a long-term mild inevitability, largely because of the police protection issue.”

Another contributing factor, he suggested, could be Harry’s desire to cast a vote in a political election. While there is no written law in Britain that prevents them from doing so, it is believed that senior royals do not vote in elections in line with the monarchy’s constitutional duty to remain politically neutral.

In 2020, Harry earned backlash ahead of the U.S. presidential election when he and Meghan spoke on a political matter, encouraging voters to turn out and cast their ballots. “This election I am not able to vote in the U.S. But many of you may not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life,” he said in a Time 100 video. “As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.”

“At the last presidential election back in 2020,” Royston said, “Harry talks about never having voted before and he kind of talked with a degree of longing about that, like he did actually want to get out and vote. So, the only way he can do that is if he becomes a citizen in America anyway.

“If he does get citizenship, he’ll be able to go out and vote for the first time in his life. And of course it will also, interestingly, potentially open the door to a hypothetical possibility that he could go into U.S. politics if that suited him,” he suggested.

Unfounded speculation about Harry and Meghan potentially entering the U.S. political sphere has circulated since their split from the monarchy. Though both have engaged philanthropically with American charities and causes, neither have made any formal political move or association.

If Harry did want to vote in any upcoming U.S. elections, Royston noted that in becoming a citizen to do so, he may need to relinquish his royal titles in line with the legal requirements.

“It might require him, if you wanted to take the easy route, to give up his titles and also he might have to give up any allegiance to any foreign prince,” he concluded. “So some hurdles there.”

Newsweek approached representatives of Prince Harry via email for comment.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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