PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle are making a huge mistake by giving up their Brit police protection, Princess Diana’s former bodyguard is warning.
The couple are now using private security guards after leaving frontline royal duties in Britain and recently moving to Hollywood.
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But the pair and their baby son Archie, one, could be leaving themselves dangerously exposed, according to the cop who once guarded Harry’s mum.
Ken Wharfe headed the 24-hour security operation that successfully shielded Princess Di from harm until just before she left “The Firm” and gave up her royal protection.
He says the pair’s private security detail will not get the same access to intelligence on terror threats as a Scotland Yard team.
And he warns their protection squad may be banned from carrying guns in certain countries.
SAS-trained Ken, 68, said: “Harry and Meghan’s private security detail will not have the same access to international intelligence as the Yard did.
“Even though Harry and Meghan have stepped away from the royal family, he will always be seen as part of the institution by the British public, so urgent clarification of the assistance now being given to him – if any – by Scotland Yard is now needed.
“Even if he has a consultant from the Yard, what role does he play? And I doubt he would have the same access to intelligence as a whole team of Yard detectives. These questions need to be asked now.
“On top of that, despite his experience in the military, I believe Harry has no idea and is basically clueless about what goes into adequately protecting him. It’s been handed to him all his life the luxury of top security.
“Hiring ex-military men or mercenaries or SAS men to protect you like a celebrity may sound like the answer, but the job is not about combat and fighting.
“It’s about gathering intelligence, diplomatic cooperation and being aware of imminent danger based on a global network of intelligence and cooperation so you can put adequate protection strategies and exit plans in place – that is the job, not fighting.
“The lack of access to intelligence information by a private security team, for example, will severely limit their knowledge about potential threats to the pair, not only where they now live in LA, but when they do start to travel again following the easing of coronavirus lockdown measures.
“To protect Harry and Meghan effectively, security need intelligence from agencies such as MI6 and the CIA, and their current security will be denied that access unless an agreed liaison from an official source is agreed.
“Their guards will also be restricted by the same firearms rules that apply to citizens in many countries they visit, so people who target them will know they are only facing unarmed guards.”
Ken left Scotland Yard’s elite Special Operations 14 Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department in 2002 after 35 years’ service and still lectures and consults on security.
He added: “We have the world’s most famous couple exposed to drone technology, hackers, sophisticated terror outfits who have hacking teams, and yet they have given up experienced royal protection officers by leaving the royal family.
“Their decision to leave is nothing short of madness in that respect.”
Sun Online has attempted to contact Harry and Meghan's representatives for comment.
The pair – who stepped down from royal duties in March – are said to require presidential style security if they are to be safe.
The couple are thought to be planning to spend an estimated £4million a year on security after they fled their Canadian mansion following the coronavirus outbreak.
It’s been reported they would be hiring a crack team of former SAS officers to watch over them, costing £400 per operative a day.
To source their team, the couple chose from a shortlist of two firms whose staff have guarded superstars including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and Madonna, as well as senior politicians and diplomats.
Ken detailed his efforts to shield Diana in his book Guarding Diana: Protecting The Princess Around The World.
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