Prince Harry Loses Legal Challenge Over U.K. Security Protection

Prince Harry has expressed his intent to appeal after losing his High Court challenge against the British government about his level of security protection in Great Britain.

By Elyse Dupre Feb 28, 2024 2:29 PMTags
Watch: Prince Harry Loses U.K. Security Case

Prince Harry is facing a legal setback.

The Duke of Sussex lost his challenge against the British government regarding his level of protective security when in Great Britain, the High Court announced Feb. 28.

Harry—who lives in the United States with wife Meghan Markle and kids Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2—took legal action against the Home Office over the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty (RAVEC)'s 2020 decision to no longer provide him with the same amount of publicly funded personal police protection when he's in the U.K. after he and Meghan stepped back as working members of the royal family.

And while the 39-year-old's legal team had called RAVEC's move "unlawful," the High Court determined the decision was not unlawful, irrational or marred by procedural unfairness.

In addition, judge Sir Peter Lane noted in part of a 51-page document that RAVEC's "bespoke process" for determining Harry's security on a case-by-case basis "was, and is, legally sound." 

"The claimant considers he should receive protective security from the State, whenever he is in Great Britain because of his position within the Royal Family and factors concerning his past and present situations," he wrote at another point in the document. "RAVEC did not share this view."

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The judge also stated that Harry's legal team had taken "an inappropriate, formalist interpretation of the RAVEC process."

Karwai Tang/WireImage

After the decision was made, the Home Office shared its reaction.

"We are pleased that the court has found in favor of the government's position in this case," it said in part of a statement obtained by Reuters, "and we are carefully considering our next steps."

Meanwhile, Harry's legal team—who expressed how the duke doesn't feel safe in the U.K. with the current security arrangements and previously lost their bid for him to cover these protection costs himself—noted their intent to appeal the judgment.

"Although these are not labels used by RAVEC, three categories - as revealed during the litigation - comprise the 'RAVEC cohort': the Role Based Category, the Occasional Category and the Other VIP Category," a legal spokesperson for the duke said in a statement obtained by NBC News. "The Duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of RAVEC's own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others in accordance with RAVEC's own written policy." 

The spokesperson added, "In February 2020, RAVEC failed to apply its written policy to The Duke of Sussex and excluded him from a particular risk analysis. The Duke's case is that the so-called 'bespoke process' that applies to him, is no substitute for that risk analysis. The Duke of Sussex hopes he will obtain justice from the Court of Appeal, and makes no further comment while the case is ongoing."

To review more royal news from earlier this year, including King Charles III and Kate Middleton's health battles, keep reading.

Queen Camilla Attends Royal Maundy Service

The queen consort attended the Royal Maundy Service on March 28 in place of King Charles III, making her the first spouse of the Monarch to continue the ancient tradition.

Kate Middleton Shares Cancer Diagnosis

In a March 22 video message, the Princess of Wales shared that she'd been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"It was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful," she said before noting that tests after the operation found cancer had been present. "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Kate Middleton Apologizes for Edited Family Photo Controversy

After photo agencies pulled the picture Kensington Palace shared of Kate since having her abdominal surgery on March 10, the Princess of Wales addressed claims the photo was doctored. 

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she tweeted on March 11. "I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C."

Lady Kitty Spencer Privately Welcomes Baby

Princess Diana's niece celebrated Mother's Day in the U.K. by sharing she and her husband Michael Lewis privately welcomed their first baby.

“It’s the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one. I love you unconditionally," she captioned her March 10 Instagram post. "Happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate today."

Queen Camilla Takes a Break

After keeping up her full slate of engagements in the wake of her husband's cancer diagnosis, the palace cleared Camilla's schedule.

The Times pointed out March 2 that the 76-year-old didn't have any engagements on her calendar until March 11, when she'd be due at Westminster Abbey to observe Commonwealth Day.

Thomas Kensington Dies at 45

The husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor and ex-boyfriend of Pippa Middleton, was found dead Feb. 25. Days later, a coroner's inquest found that he died by suicide.

King Charles Diagnosed With Cancer

While King Charles III was in the hospital for his benign prostate enlargement procedure, the royal family member was diagnosed with cancer.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," Buckingham Palace said Feb. 5. "Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible."

Sarah Ferguson Is Diagnosed With a Second Type of Cancer

The Duchess of York's rep said in a statement on Jan. 21 that Sarah was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Several months prior, she underwent a single mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Abdicates the Throne

On Jan. 14, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history as she officially abdicated the throne, handing the crown over to her son, now known as King Frederik the 10th

Kate Middleton Is Hospitalized

Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that Kate Middleton underwent planned abdominal surgery and was set to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

"Based on the current medical advice," the Palace said, "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Prince William Adjusting His Schedule

Amid Kate's recovery, Prince William postponed a number of engagements as he supported his family, including the couple's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

King Charles III Undergoing Treatment

Shortly after Kate's hospitalization was made public, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles "has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate."

"His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure," the statement added. "The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."

Luxembourg Welcomes a New Baby

Princess Claire and Prince Felix of Luxembourg welcomed son Balthazar Felix Karl on Jan. 7, the first royal baby of the New Year!

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