Prince Harry’s attempt to challenge the British government’s decision to deny him publicly funded police protection during his visits to the UK has been rejected by London’s High Court. The Duke of Sussex, along with his wife Meghan Markle, had their taxpayer-funded security stripped after they stepped back from their roles as working royals and relocated to the United States in 2020.
Harry’s legal team sought a judicial review of the government’s refusal to allow him to hire police officers as his private security detail. However, the High Court ruled on Tuesday against granting the review. The decision to remove publicly funded security was made by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC).
Last week, Harry’s lawyers argued that RAVEC did not have the authority to reject his offer to pay for police security, and even if it did, it was unfair not to consider an exception or hear his challenge. They pointed out that payment for policing is not inconsistent with the public interest, as determined by Parliament. However, the Home Office lawyers opposed the move, contending that it would be wrong to allow wealthy individuals to “buy” highly trained officers as private bodyguards.
The government’s lawyers argued that RAVEC had already concluded that allowing private individuals to pay for police protection went against the public and state’s interests. They emphasized that using police officers as private bodyguards for wealthy individuals was significantly different from paying for policing at public events like sports matches or marathons.
In his written ruling, Judge Martin Chamberlain sided with the Home Office, stating that RAVEC had not been wrong to decide that allowing payment for protective security was against the public interest.
The Sussexes have been covering the cost of private US security guards for the past three years. However, their representatives have stated that the American security detail lacks jurisdiction overseas and does not have access to UK intelligence.
Prince Harry, who recently traveled alone to the UK for his father’s coronation, has expressed grave concerns about his safety and the security of his family during future trips to his homeland. He fears bringing his children, 4-year-old Archie and nearly 2-year-old Lilibet, due to perceived threats. Last year, credible threats were reported against Harry and Meghan by far-right extremists, according to Britain’s former counter-terrorism police chief.
The court’s decision comes shortly after a spokesperson for Harry revealed that the prince, his wife, and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase with paparazzi in New York City. Harry has been vocal about his fears for his family’s safety and consistently criticizes press intrusion, which he blames for the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
Currently, Harry is pursuing multiple cases at the High Court in London related to security and privacy claims. His legal team is also involved in a trial where he and others are suing Mirror Group Newspapers over allegations of phone hacking. Additionally, Harry is separately suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday newspaper for libel regarding an article that claimed he offered to pay for police protection only after initiating his legal case against the British government.
He and Meghan should move to a deserted island with the “wonderful” MIL and kids…Only them on the island, then they wouldn’t have to worry about anyone trying to spy on them or hurt ’em. But then they wouldn’t have anything to WHINE about, I guess…
They aren’t working Royals so the British tax payers shouldn’t have to pay for them.