Prince Harry Will Appeal After Losing Legal Battle Over Taxpayer-Funded Police Protection in the UK

A spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex said he would appeal the ruling, adding that he was “not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of RAVEC’s own rules.”
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Prince Harry has lost his legal battle over receiving taxpayer-funded police protection while in the UK, a High Court judge in Britain’s Home Office ruled on Wednesday, but a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex says he will appeal the decision. 

Prince Harry, who is becoming a familiar figure in court cases, believes he has a right to police protection when in Britain and has said that his wife, Meghan Markle, and their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, cannot “feel at home” in the UK if it is not possible to “keep them safe” there. 

However, the Royal and VIP Executive Committee (RAVEC), the decision-making body which includes the Home Office, the Royal Household, and the Met Police, which oversees the protection of royals and VIPs in the UK, have argued that police protection should not be afforded to Prince Harry, who stepped down as a working member of the royal family in 2020

RAVEC has said that protection is given on a “case by case” basis and has decided that Prince Harry, who lives in California, should not be entitled to taxpayer-funded police protection when he is in the UK. 

In a crushing blow for the prince, who returned to the UK earlier this month to visit his father King Charles following his cancer diagnosis, Harry’s claim was dismissed by a judge on Wednesday. The duke’s spokesman has confirmed that Harry, who recently said he has considered becoming a US citizen, is planning to challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal. 

Harry’s legal wrangle with the Home Office first began in February 2020 when he took legal action over the decision to remove his taxpayer-funded royal security. 

On Wednesday, Judge Sir Peter Lane said that RAVEC had warned Prince Harry back in 2020, when he stood down as a working member of the royal family, that “he would likely need private security.... At the meeting in mid-January 2020, the Cabinet Secretary explained to the claimant’s Private Secretary that the claimant should have no expectation of his existing security arrangement remaining the same.”

Harry, however, has argued that he and his family should be entitled to receive the same level of security afforded to other members of the royal family when he is in the UK. He believes that he warrants the service because of his high profile and former military career during which he served two tours in Afghanistan. His lawyers have claimed that he has been “singled out” and treated “less favourably.” But in a court hearing in London in December 2023, the government insisted that Harry’s claim should be dismissed, and on Wednesday, he lost the final stage of his legal battle.

A spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex said he would appeal the ruling, adding that he was “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 spokesman added that the duke will make no further comment while the case is ongoing but that Harry “hopes he will obtain justice from the Court of Appeal.”

Meanwhile, a Home Office spokesman said it was “pleased” with the outcome of Wednesday’s hearing.