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Court tosses Prince Harry’s appeal against downgrading security protection



LONDON — Prince Harry has lost a long and bitter fight over his level of publicly funded security in the United Kingdom, with a British court ruling he has no right to full royal protection.

Harry has tried to keep the same level of security that he had when he was a “working royal” — when he, like other senior royals, was entitled to protection by specially trained police officers who have access to British intelligence.

But Harry’s security status was downgraded in 2020 after he gave up his royal duties and moved to California. Publicly funded security protection is still available to him, his wife and his children when they visit Britain, but the Home Office said his level of security would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

In his 51-page ruling, High Court Judge Peter Lane said the approach by the Royal and VIP Executive Committee (Ravec) for the protection of royalty and public figures was not irrational nor procedurally unfair. The judge said Harry’s lawyers had “an inappropriate, formalist interpretation of the RAVEC process.”

Harry has argued that the policy has made it difficult for him and his family to visit his homeland. In a statement read by his lawyers to the judge in December, Harry said he regarded Britain as “my home” and a place that was “central to the heritage of my children and a place I want them to feel at home as much as where they live at the moment in the US. That cannot happen if it’s not possible to keep them safe when they are on UK soil.”

“I cannot put my wife in danger like that and, given my experiences in life, I am reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too,” he wrote.


Harry has regularly framed his concern in the context of how paparazzi dangerously pursued his mother, Princess Diana, before her fatal car crash in Paris in 1997.

“I knew that I had to do everything I could to protect my family, especially after what happened to my mum,” he said in his self-produced Netflix documentary.

When Harry made a transatlantic dash to Britain this month to see his father, King Charles III, who had just been diagnosed with cancer, he was driven from Heathrow Airport to the royal residence of Clarence House under a police escort.

The last time he was in the country with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and their two children, Archie and Lilibet, was in June 2022 for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. Harry and Meghan also attended Elizabeth’s funeral in September of that year without their children.

This was one of two legal battles that Harry has launched over his security arrangements. He lost a separate legal challenge last year, denying him the ability to pay for British police protection for himself and his family when visiting. Lawyers for the British government said that wealthy people should not be allowed to “buy” police protection.

Source: Washington Post


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