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Prince Harry Denied Automatic UK Police Security, UK High Court Passes Judgement

Thursday, February 29, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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Prince Harry has faced a legal setback in his bid to reinstate his police security detail in the UK.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, had argued that he and his family should receive automatic protection whenever they visit the UK from their home in California. However, the UK authorities withdrew this right in February 2020, shortly after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped back from official royal duties.

In a statement last December, Prince Harry expressed that he felt compelled to step away from his royal duties and leave the UK in 2020 due to security concerns for his family, including his wife and their two children, son Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2.

However, on Wednesday, High Court judge Peter Lane upheld the UK government's decision and the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) to downgrade his security.

"The court has found that there has not been any unlawfulness in reaching the decision of 28 February 2020," Lane ruled. "The decision was not irrational. The decision was not marred by procedural unfairness."

"The court has also found that there has been no unlawfulness on the part of RAVEC in respect of its arrangements for certain of the claimant’s visits to Great Britain," the ruling added. Prince Harry plans to appeal against the decision.

"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," a legal spokesperson said in a statement.

"In February 2020, RAVEC failed to apply its written policy to The Duke of Sussex and excluded him from a particular risk analysis," the statement continued. "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."

In December 2023, lawyers for Prince Harry argued against the February 2020 decision to remove the prince's automatic right to UK police security. Although the Duke of Sussex offered to cover the costs of security, the bid was rejected.

In a statement to the High Court in London at the time, Prince Harry said that he needed police security for his children "to feel at home" in his native country — something that he said can't happen "if there is no possibility to keep them safe when they are on UK soil."

"The UK is my home. The UK is central to the heritage of my children and a place I want them to feel at home as much as where they live at the moment in the United States," Harry continued. "That cannot happen if there is no possibility to keep them safe when they are on UK soil."

"I can't put my wife in danger like that, and given my experiences in life, I'm reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm's way too," he said.

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