Prince Harry loses High Court case over UK security measures

Prince Harry has lost a High Court challenge to the government over the level of security he has in England.

The Duke of Sussex failed to overturn an earlier ruling which reduced his protection status after he stopped working as a monarch.

The High Court found that the judgment was neither illegal nor irrational.

Prince Harry will seek to appeal the latest ruling, with a legal spokesman saying he is “hopeful of getting justice”.

His lawyers argued that the way the decision was taken was unfair, a High Court ruling said it was not.

Prince Harry launched the legal challenge after being told he would no longer be given the same level of publicly funded security while in the country.

The Home Office said his security on visits to the UK would be arranged depending on the perceived risk, as it is with other high-profile visiting figures, and said on Wednesday it was “delighted” by the court's finding.

Home Office lawyers, arguing against the Duke's challenge, told the High Court that Prince Harry would still have publicly funded police protection, but that these would be “tailored specifically to him”, rather than the automatic protection provided for full-time employment. Royal family.

Most of the legal proceedings involving security arrangements for senior figures were held in private in December, a ruling by retired High Court judge Sir Peter Lane was released on Wednesday morning.

In the ruling, Sir Peter rejected the Duke's case that there was no illegality in reaching the decision to downgrade Prince Harry's protection status and that the departure from policy was justified.

It found that the decision was neither irrational nor procedurally unfair.

In the 51-page, partially redacted document, Sir Peter said Harry's lawyers had made an “inappropriate… explanation” of how he received protection under the Royal and VIP Executive Committee (RAVEC), which arranges security for members of the royal family. Other VIPs. It has devolved responsibility from the Home Office and involves the Metropolitan Police, the Cabinet Office and the Royal Family.

The ruling also found that the “bespoke” process designed by Ravek for Prince Harry was “legally valid”.

Elaborating further on Prince Harry's position, Sir Peter wrote in his ruling, “The Duke considers that whenever he is in Great Britain, he should receive security protection from the State due to his position within the Royal Family and factors relating to his past and present circumstances. Ravek did not share this view. .”

In January 2020, the Cabinet Secretary told Prince Harry's private secretary that “the claimant should not expect his current security arrangements to remain in place”, and he said this was “re-emphasized” at another meeting later in the month.

Examples of the prince's safety concerns were also revealed in the judgment, which highlighted evidence presented during the trial.

Prince said, “Who is willing to put him and his family in serious harm and danger – where no one was willing to put my mother 23 years ago – today, with high risk, with the added layers of racism and extremism, as mentioned above, someone is comfortable being held accountable for what might happen. To take responsibility for this choice. I like the name of the person who is ready.

Last year, Prince Harry lost a separate legal bid to be allowed to privately pay for police protection when he visited Britain, in which case the protection was reduced as he stepped away from working as a full-time royal.

In his judgement, Sir Peter found that he had rejected the duke's offer to pay for his protection “on the basis that the person is entitled to the protection associated with being a member of the Revek cohort or they are not”.

image caption,

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from royal duties in 2020

A spokesman for Prince Harry said Wednesday that he will appeal against the ruling.

“Duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for the fair and lawful application of Ravek's own rules, ensuring that he is considered the same as anyone else in accordance with Ravek's own written policy,” they said in a statement.

“Ravek failed to apply his written policy to the Duke of Sussex and excluded him from a specific risk analysis,” they added.

However, in Sir Peter's judgment, he said that undergoing a risk assessment “is not a right or even a benefit. It is … an analytical tool”.

A spokesman for Prince Harry argued that “the so-called 'bespoke process' applied to him is no substitute for that risk analysis”.

They added: “The Duke of Sussex is confident he will receive justice from the Court of Appeal and will not comment further while the case is ongoing.”

Prince Harry, who did not attend the December hearing, lives in the US with his wife Meghan and their two children.

The Duke's recent visits to England have been fleeting. Earlier this month, the 39-year-old spent just over 24 hours in England after traveling to the country for a 45-minute meeting with her father following King Charles' cancer diagnosis.

Prince Harry last appeared at a royal event in May, during the King's coronation.

That too was short-lived, with the duke leaving soon after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. However, a source told US outlet Page Six at the time that Prince Harry wanted to make “every effort” to return for his son Archie's birthday – which happened to be on the same day.

Harry's strained relationship with his family is also thought to have played a part in the shortness of his visits.

Following the ruling, a Home Office spokesman said: “We are pleased to see the court favor the government's position in this case and we are carefully considering our next steps.”

They continued: “The UK Government's defense system is rigorous and proportionate.

“It is our longstanding policy not to provide detailed information about those arrangements, as doing so would compromise their integrity and affect the safety of individuals.”

Although he has not appeared in public since the verdict, Prince Harry has appeared in a video for a charity.

In a brief on-camera message for the WellChild Award nominations, the Duke praised the “extraordinary strength and spirit” of young people with complex medical conditions.

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