Prince Harry's Case Against U.K. Home Office Over Police Protection Moving Forward

A judge has granted Prince Harry a bid to challenge the U.K. Home Office over its denial of taxpayer or privately funded police security for himself and his family for any future visits.

By Corinne Heller Jul 22, 2022 8:51 PMTags

Prince Harry has been granted a bid to legally challenge the U.K. Home Office's denial of police protection of himself and his family in his native country.

A High Court judge wrote in an approved judgement, filed July 22 and obtained by E! News, that Harry's "application for permission to apply for judicial review is granted," based on several of the claims by the Duke of Sussex.

In September 2021, Harry filed for a judicial review of a February 2020 government decision to deny him the taxpayer-funded security he lost access to after he and wife Meghan Markle announced they were stepping down as senior members of the Royal family. In his filing, he offered to pay for U.K. police protection for himself and their family. 

E! News has reached out for comment from the Sussexes and has not heard back. Buckingham Palace has declined comment on issues involving Harry. The Home Office has said it will not comment on ongoing legal proceedings, Sky News reported.

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Despite the ongoing legal battle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have continued to visit the U.K. In June, they traveled there with their children, Archie Harrison, 3, and Lilibet "Lili" Diana, 13 months, for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebration. Their daughter celebrated her first birthday during the trip, her first in the country. Harry and Meghan, who are often seen with bodyguards in public, and the Royal family have not disclosed what security arrangements were granted to the family.

Karwai Tang/WireImage

There will be a high court hearing to review the duke's plea for police protection, the July 22 filing states. In the approved judgement, the judge ruled that some parts of four out of five grounds that Harry had claimed for judicial review were "arguable," including Harry's allegations that the decisions by Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC), a Home Office wing, were "unreasonable" and that "as a matter of fairness, he should have been told the contents of RAVEC's 'policy' before the February 2020 decision was made."

Another "arguable matter that arises" is whether Harry "should have had the opportunity to make representations direct to RAVEC, including the opportunity to comment on other matters RAVEC considered," the judge wrote.

However, the judge denied permission for Harry's claims that he "should have been told who the members of RAVEC were" and that he allegedly did not have the opportunity to comment on "the appropriateness of RAVEC's process/the involvement of certain individuals in the RAVEC process."

"In the course of submissions, it became apparent that while [Harry] may have had disagreements with persons who were RAYEC committee members, there was no evidence at all to support a claim that any committee member had approached decisions with a closed mind, or that either decision was affected by bias," the judge wrote in the filing.

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A couple of hearings have already been held over Harry's legal challenge, including earlier this month and in February, when Harry's lawyer said in a statement, "Duke does not feel safe when he is in the U.K. given the security arrangements applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied if he decides to come back. It goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart. This is and always will be his home."

Days earlier, a court filing stated that that the U.K. Home Office planned to oppose Harry's challenge, maintaining that Harry "failed to afford the necessary measures of respect to the Home Office and RAVEC as the expert, and democratically accountable, decision-maker on matters of protective security and associated risk assessment."

According to the filing, the Home Office maintained that Harry's offer to privately pay for police security was "irrelevant," adding that "personal protective security by the police is not available on a privately financed basis."

In statement issued this past January, Harry's legal representative said that the duke "inherited a security risk at birth, for life" and that in recent years, "his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats."

His lawyer also noted that during a solo trip to the U.K. in June 2021, Harry's "security was compromised due to absence of police protection." It marked his second visit to his native country since he and Meghan moved abroad after their royal exit announcement.

The attorney said in the statement that the private security team that the Sussexes pay for in the United States "cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed" in the U.K. The lawyer added, "In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home."

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