Prince Harry to Appeal High Court Decision Over Police Protection Downgrade Amidst Ongoing Legal Battles with Home Office in the UK

Prince Harry to Appeal High Court Decision Over Police Protection Downgrade Amidst Ongoing Legal Battles with Home Office in the UK

In a recent High Court battle, Prince Harry faced a setback as the court ruled against his claims challenging the downgrading of his police protection by the Home Office.

The Duke of Sussex, aged 39, may now be liable for substantial costs related to taxpayers’ legal expenses, with the judge asserting that he failed to establish the decision’s unlawfulness or unfairness.

This legal dispute emerged following Harry and Meghan’s withdrawal from royal duties and departure from Britain in January 2020.

The court’s decision could potentially lead to a considerable financial burden on Prince Harry, who vowed to appeal the ruling.

The Context and Prince Harry’s Concerns

Prince Harry’s argument centered around the contention that he and his family were exposed to elevated risks due to reduced security measures, drawing parallels with the dangers faced by his late mother, Princess Diana, during the paparazzi chase that led to her tragic death in 1997.

The court documents revealed that Prince Harry had specifically sought to identify the government official responsible for the decision, expressing a desire to know “that person’s name.”

He raised concerns about the safety of his visits to Britain, citing an incident during a train journey to Manchester in September 2022 when he and Meghan felt uneasy due to their proximity to the public.

Court’s Decision Summary

The 52-page ruling concluded that the court found no unlawfulness in the decision made by the Home Office on February 28, 2020.

It emphasized that any departure from policy was justified, the decision was not irrational, and procedural fairness was maintained. Even if procedural unfairness existed, the court stated it would be unlikely to alter the outcome for Prince Harry substantially.

Additionally, there was no found unlawfulness regarding the arrangements made by the executive committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) for Prince Harry’s visits to Great Britain following the 2020 decision.

Prince Harry’s Security Concerns and Legal Action

Prince Harry’s private security specialist informed the High Court that during the Wellchild Awards in June 2021, the Duke felt cornered by paparazzi, describing the situation as making them feel like “sitting ducks.”

His claim revolved around feeling unfairly targeted when his automatic police protection was withdrawn after the Sandringham Summit in January 2020.

The court heard that he believed he was treated unfairly during visits to the UK, particularly when unveiling a statue of his late mother in the summer of 2021 with his brother William.

Government’s Defense and Court’s Evaluation

The Government argued that Ravec was entitled to assess the Duke’s protection on a case-by-case basis, considering it “bespoke.”

They asserted the need to allocate finite public resources appropriately, limiting police protection to those serving the state’s interests through their public roles.

The court, in its ruling, praised the Ravec committee and its chairman, Sir Richard Mottram, for their expertise in handling matters related to the protection of royalty and public figures.

The judge acknowledged that Ravec was well aware of Prince Harry’s status and profile when making decisions.

Prince Harry’s Appeal and Ongoing Legal Challenges

Shortly after the judgment, a spokesperson for Prince Harry announced his intention to appeal, emphasizing the pursuit of a fair and lawful application of Ravec’s rules rather than seeking preferential treatment.

This latest legal setback follows Prince Harry’s recent admission of defeat in a libel case against The Mail on Sunday. The Duke faces a substantial legal bill after abandoning the case just hours before the deadline for submitting a list of documents.

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