Prince Harry Loses Legal Challenge for Private Police Protection in the UK
Prince Harry has lost his legal challenge to privately pay for police protection during his visits to the UK.
The Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, had their taxpayer-funded protection revoked in 2020 after stepping down as senior royals and moving to the US.
Harry’s lawyers sought a judicial review of the government’s decision to reject his offer to hire police officers as his private security detail.
The court’s ruling comes in the midst of a high-profile incident in New York City, where Harry and Meghan claimed they were involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase with paparazzi.
Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Caught in Intense Car Chase with Paparazzi in New York.
Harry’s legal team argued that RAVEC had no authority to reject his offer and should have considered an exception or heard his challenge. They cited provisions in the legislation that allows for payment for “special police services” and claimed that amount for policing is not inconsistent with the public interest.
However, the Home Office lawyers opposed the move, stating that it would be inappropriate to allow wealthy individuals to hire highly trained police officers as private bodyguards.
In addition, they argued that the protection under discussion differed from funding for extra policing at public events. The judge agreed with the Home Office, ruling that allowing private financing would be against the public interest and could reduce the availability of close protection officers.
Also, read Prince Harry was ‘Infuriated’ by King Charles’ Refusal to Pay for Meghan Markle.
Harry and Meghan have been paying for their own security in the US. Still, they argued that their American detail needs jurisdiction overseas or access to intelligence in the UK.
The court’s decision means that Harry cannot privately pay for police protection during his visits to the UK. He expressed concerns about his safety and his family’s safety during future trips to his homeland. The ruling blows Harry’s efforts to regain security for himself and his family.
He has already been granted permission to challenge the decision regarding his protective security when visiting the UK, but a date for the hearing has yet to be set.
This legal challenge is one of several civil cases pursued by Prince Harry, including claims of phone hacking against media organizations. He is also involved in a trial against Mirror Group Newspapers over allegations of unlawful information gathering.
Prince Harry requested a private audience with the King and Prince William but was denied.
Harry has been vocal about his concerns regarding the safety and security of his family and the impact of press intrusion on his life, drawing parallels to the death of his mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash while being pursued by paparazzi.