Prince Harry loses bid for personal police protection in the UK at the High Court in London


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Prince Harry has lost his bid to get taxpayer-funded British security protection for his family.

Sir Peter Lane, a judge at the High Court in London, ruled on Wednesday that there was no contravention of the law in the initial decision to strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their security in February 2020.

The High Court in London found that any departure from this policy was justified and that the decision was not affected by unfairness.

This now means that Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, will have to pay out of pocket for their family's security when visiting the UK.

Harry, 39, did not attend the sentencing hearing.

The father of two children appeared before the High Court in London last December. Taifun Salsi/Zuma/

“We are pleased that the court has ruled in favor of the government’s position in this case, and we are carefully considering our next steps. It would be inappropriate to comment further,” a Home Office spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday about the ruling.

“The UK Government’s protective security regime is rigorous and proportionate. It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information about those arrangements, as doing so could jeopardize their integrity and affect the security of individuals.

Harry and the “Suits” alumnus, 42, were stripped of their funded police protection after they stepped back as “royals” and moved to the US in 2020.

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Harry's lawyers sought a judicial review of the government's refusal of his offer to appoint police officers as his security detail, which was initially rejected by the High Court in London in May 2023.

After the Duke's lawyers appealed the ruling, the judge granted permission for a full hearing to review the Home Office's decision to strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of security.

The father of two appeared in court on his home soil in December, where his appeal against the initial ruling was heard over two and a half days.

The case was held private due to privacy concerns.

Harry told a hearing that security concerns prevented him from visiting his home.

Harry's lawyers previously told the court that he was “excluded” and treated “less favourably” in the decision to change his security. Reuters

“The UK is my home. The UK is central to my children’s heritage,” he told the court in a written statement read by his lawyers. “This cannot happen if it is not possible to keep them safe.”

He added: “I cannot put my wife in danger in this way, and given my life experiences, I am reluctant to put myself in harm's way unnecessarily as well.”

The Sussex couple were stripped of their funded police protection after they stepped back as 'members of the royal family' and moved to the US in 2020. WireImage

Harry initially lost a lawsuit last May to challenge the British government's decision preventing him from paying for police protection during his visits to the United Kingdom.

The exiled prince's lawyers said in the appeal that the decision was made “procedurally unfair” because he was unable to provide “informed data” before his application was rejected.

The Duke of Sussex told a hearing that security concerns prevent him from visiting his homeland. AP

At the first stage of the case, the Duke's lawyers asked Judge Swift to grant permission for a full hearing, which was eventually granted.

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Judge Swift said it was “arguable” whether the Duke “should have had the opportunity to make direct representations to the Royal Executive and VIP Committee (RAVEC).”

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