‘Stupid’ Prince Harry Could Face Deportation From U.S., Experts Say

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Prince Harry was “stupid” to boast about his illegal drug use in his memoir Spare, and in interviews to promote the book, royal experts have told The Daily Beast, after the American ambassador in London sharpened the political dimension of the issue by saying Harry would never be deported under a Biden administration.

Ambassador Jane Hartley’s comments that deportation action against Harry was “not going to happen in the Biden administration” have now been submitted in new court papers filed by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative pressure group trying to force the U.S. government to release details of whether or not Harry admitted to drug use when applying to live in the U.S., according to reports in the New York Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.

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The remarks bring a fresh political dimension to the row over Harry’s claims to have used marijuana, cocaine, magic mushrooms and ayahuasca in his memoir, Spare, and in interviews to promote the book. Admission of former or ongoing drug use is usually a bar to smoothly immigrating to the U.S. Donald Trump has strongly hinted that Harry could be deported if he wins the presidency.

Royal writer and YouTuber Lady Colin Campbell, the author of a new book about Harry and Meghan entitled Meghan and Harry, The Real Story: Persecutors or Victims told the Daily Beast: “Harry was criticized for being both stupid and arrogant by publicizing his use of illegal drugs in his memoir. But what this intervention by the American ambassador shows us is that the Biden administration were prepared to allow the king’s son into the country regardless of what rules he may or may not have broken. So, maybe he knew he would get away with it.

“The issue that perhaps Harry hadn’t thought about so clearly is what would happen if there were to be a change of government. If Trump wins, Harry may well come to regret these very foolish remarks, made no doubt at the urging of his publisher to sell a few more books. The reality is that no foreigner has an inviolable right to enter another country and you can be made a ‘persona non grata’ at the drop of a hat.”

Prince Harry attends the 2023 WellChild Awards ceremony in London, Britain, September 7, 2023.

Prince Harry attends the 2023 WellChild Awards ceremony in London, Britain, September 7, 2023.

Toby Melville/Reuters

Indeed, an immigration lawyer recently told The Daily Beast that Harry could be vulnerable to a politically motivated attack on his residential status, saying: “Department of State decisions are discretionary and very susceptible to political influence. His visa could be canceled. He could be denied entry upon return to the U.S. from foreign travel for inadmissibility due to prior drug usage, despite an unexpired visa in his passport. There are many scenarios where political influence could impact Harry’s ability to re-enter the U.S.”

Duncan Larcombe, the former royal editor for the Sun, told The Daily Beast that by writing about his previous use of drugs, Harry had now opened himself up to legitimate questions about when he most recently used them.

In an interview with Gabor Maté to promote the book, Harry spoke about using the psychedelic drug ayahuasca and seemed to suggest he had used it regularly and recently.

He said: “It was the cleaning of the windshield, removal of life’s filters. It removed it all for me and brought me a sense of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold onto for a period of time. For me I started doing it recreationally and then started to realize how good it was for me. I would say it is one of the fundamental parts of my life that changed me and helped me deal with the traumas and the pains of the past.”

Larcombe said: “It’s incredibly stupid to take Class A drugs when you are a prince in the royal family. It’s even more stupid to boast about it afterwards. He has opened himself up to a myriad of questions, for example: Does he still do them? Was he high on drugs at Sandhurst? How about when he wore a Nazi uniform to a party? The Biden administration may well be prepared to look the other way, but Trump clearly isn’t. And if it’s good enough for Trump then it is good enough for Trump supporters.”

The Heritage Foundation, best known as the publisher of the right wing blogosphere favorite The Daily Signal, has argued that Harry either lied on his paperwork or told the truth and received special treatment.

Their lawyers say that the ambassador’s “extraordinary” remarks, made in an interview with Sky News last month, support their case that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should reveal Harry’s records under America’s Freedom of Information laws. The DHS says such forms are always a private matter and should not be released. They have, however, exposed themselves to ridicule by arguing that Harry may have invented his stories about drug use in his book and interviews.

Asked about the possibility of the Harry being deported in an interview on Sky News on March 25, Hartley said: “Well it’s not going to happen in the Biden administration.”

The Heritage Foundation argues that the “Executive Branch has now categorically stated that, regardless of future circumstances, they will decline to deport the Duke of Sussex—even in the most extreme of cases.”

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, told the Telegraph: “The US Ambassador to London speaks directly on behalf of the president of the United States. It is extraordinary that she has chosen to comment on an ongoing federal court case.”

British celebrity Nigella Lawson was famously denied entry to the U.S. over admissions of drug use in 2013.

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