UK: Prince Harry loses court battle over loss of security protection, plans to challenge decision

World Thursday 29/February/2024 08:26 AM
UK: Prince Harry loses court battle over loss of security protection, plans to challenge decision

London: Prince Harry faced a legal setback as he lost a court challenge against the UK government's decision to withdraw taxpayer-funded protection after stepping back from royal duties, CNN reported.

The legal action against the Home Office commenced in February 2020, when it was determined that Prince Harry would no longer receive the "same degree" of protection while in the country.

In December, during the court hearing, Harry's lawyers argued that the decision singled him out and treated him less favourably, CNN reported, citing British news agency PA Media.

According to the news agency, the lawyers also emphasised the failure to consider the potential impact on the UK's reputation in case of a successful attack on Harry, who has been residing in California with his wife Meghan since July 2020.

However, the court ruled that the decision was justified and devoid of procedural unfairness. Despite the setback, Prince Harry's legal spokesperson confirmed his intention to appeal.

"The Duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of RAVEC's own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others in accordance with RAVEC's own written policy," the spokesperson told CNN, referring to the body that arranges security for the royals.

Following the ruling, a Home Office spokesperson told CNN: "We are pleased that the Court has found in favour of the Government's position in this case, and we are carefully considering our next steps. It would be inappropriate to comment further.

"The UK Government's protective security system is rigorous and proportionate. It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements, as doing so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals' security."

Prince Harry has been vocal about his family's security, often drawing parallels between his wife's treatment and the challenges faced by his late mother, Princess Diana. This legal case is one of several lawsuits involving Prince Harry in the UK.

In May 2023, Prince Harry faced another legal setback, losing a separate challenge seeking the right to personally pay for his police protection while in the UK. The UK's Home Office argued against allowing wealthy individuals to purchase protective security from specialised police officers.

In January of the same year, Prince Harry abandoned a libel claim against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of the Mail, on Sunday. The libel case was related to a February 2022 story about Prince Harry's High Court case against the Home Office regarding security arrangements during visits to the UK.

In December 2023, the High Court in London ruled that Prince Harry was a victim of phone hacking and other "unlawful information gathering" by the publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). Subsequently, Prince Harry settled the remaining aspects of his phone-hacking case against MGN, with his lawyer indicating that he would receive a "substantial" payout, CNN reported.