Prince Harry Loses Legal Bid to Pay for His Police Protection in U.K.

The Duke of Sussex contested the call made by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures in February 2020, after he and Meghan Markle stepped back from their royal roles

Prince Harry has lost a legal bid to pay for his own police protection in the U.K.

The High Court in London reached a decision in Harry's case against the British government on Tuesday following an initial hearing last week.

It forms half of the Duke of Sussex's claim against the U.K. Home Office over the removal of his taxpayer-funded police protection, which happened when Harry, 38, and his wife, Meghan Markle, 41, stepped back from their working royal roles in January 2020.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex relocated from the U.K. to California with their son Prince Archie, 4, shortly afterward and welcomed their daughter Princess Lilibet, 23 months, in June 2021.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on March 28, 2023 in London, England.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

The second part of Harry's claim against the Home Office is yet to be heard in court. It centers around a July 2022 hearing where he won the right to challenge the "procedural unfairness" of the U.K. government's decision to strip him of his publicly-funded protection.

During the hearing, lawyers for Harry argued that he was not given the chance to make "informed representations beforehand," reported BBC News. A date for this hearing has yet to be arranged, added the outlet.

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Speaking at The Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday, Judge Mr. Justice Chamberlain announced that he would not give Harry permission to seek a judicial review of the rejection of his offer to pay for his own police protection.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive on the long Walk at Windsor Castle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The ruling comes after Harry, 38, launched his case in September 2021. The application itself did not come to light until January 2022, however, following a leak in a UK tabloid.

A legal spokesperson for the Duke said at the time that it was "necessary to release a statement setting the facts straight" regarding Harry's pleas for security after his claim for a judicial review was filed.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed while in the UK," read a statement from their spokesperson. "In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.

The statement added that the Duke first offered to personally pay for UK security for himself and his family in January 2020 at Sandringham, shortly after he and Meghan announced their decision to step back from royal duties.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex waves as he arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice, Britain's High Court, in central London on March 28, 2023. - Prince Harry and pop superstar Elton John appeared at a London court, delivering a high-profile jolt to a privacy claim launched by celebrities and other figures against a newspaper publisher. The publisher of the Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers (ANL), is trying to end the high court claims brought over alleged unlawful activity at its titles.
Prince Harry. DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty

"The goal for Prince Harry has been simple – to ensure the safety of himself and his family while in the UK so his children can know his home country," the statement continued.

The spokesperson also mentioned Harry's trip to the UK in July 2021 to unveil a statue in honor of his late mother, Princess Diana. During the visit, his security was "compromised due to the absence of police protection" while leaving a charity event, the spokesperson said in January 2022, and his car was chased by photographers.

Prince Harry got the green light to challenge the Home Office decision in July 2022, contesting the call originally made by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures in February 2020, The Telegraph said. Last summer, Mr. Justice Swift said that four out of the five grounds Prince Harry brought forward were "arguable" for review, per the outlet.

At that hearing in July 2022, the High Court in London heard that Harry and Meghan's security had since been dealt with on a "flexible, case-by-case" basis. Backing up the point, his attorney Shaheed Fatima stated in court that "what flexible sometimes means is no security."

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