Prince Harry loses legal bid for UK police protection

Prince Harry lost his legal challenge on Wednesday against the British government's decision to remove his police protection during visits to the UK.

Publication: 28.02.2024 - 15:35
Prince Harry loses legal bid for UK police protection
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Harry, the younger son of King Charles, contested the February 2020 decision by the Home Office, which oversees policing, that ended his automatic entitlement to personal police security in Britain.

Before relocating to California with his American wife, Meghan, in March 2020, Harry and other senior royals had received comprehensive, publicly-funded security from the state. Following a step back from royal duties, Harry sought a judicial review, arguing in a December hearing that the removal of his security was unlawful, unfair, and unjustified.

However, the government argued that the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) had not completely denied Harry protection but rather changed the basis on which he would receive it. The High Court found no unlawfulness in the decision, siding with the government.

A government spokesperson expressed satisfaction with the court's decision, stating that they are considering next steps and highlighted the "rigorous and proportionate" nature of the protective security system.

Harry's recent visit to the UK to see his father, who has been diagnosed with cancer, underscored his estrangement from the royal family since moving to the U.S. He expressed hope that Charles' illness could reunite the family. This ruling marks Harry's second defeat in legal battles over his security, following a separate ruling that denied him the right to fund his own police protection.

Harry has frequently expressed concerns for his family's safety and criticized press intrusion, blaming it for the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. The ruling coincides with the government's announcement of an additional £31 million ($39 million) in funding for new security measures for lawmakers and officials amid increasing safety concerns.

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