A judge from London’s High Court has rejected Prince Harry’s legal bid against the British government to privately fund his own police protection while in the United Kingdom.
On Tuesday, Justice Chamberlain denied the prince permission to seek a judicial review of the government’s refusal to allow Harry to personally pay for his own police and security arrangements.
The British government initially stripped Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, of taxpayer-funded police protection following the couple’s decision to step down as senior working members of the royal family in 2020. But Harry legally contested the decision, filing a claim for a judicial review against the ruling in September 2021.
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At the time, a spokesperson told Bazaar.com that Harry felt the Home Office’s decision was "unreasonable, opaque and inconsistent."
In court this week, Harry’s legal team argued there is precedent for legislative provisions that allowed for the payment of “special police services” and that “payment for policing is not inconsistent with the public interest or public confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service,” the BBC reports.
However, lawyers for the Home Office said the rejection of an individual’s offer of private payments was a matter of policy, and opposed the idea that a “wealthy person should be permitted to ‘buy’ protective security.”
Though his bid for a judicial review has been denied, Harry’s legal battle for U.K. police protection isn’t over. Bazaar’s royal editor-at-large, Omid Scobie, notes that the prince has already won his bid for a full judicial review against the Home Office for its decision-making process over his security in the country. Additionally, his lawyers can appeal today’s ruling.
“The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in ... With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk,” a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex said in a written statement last year. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.”
Harry’s legal spokesperson previously told Bazaar that the royal had “inherited a security risk at birth, for life,” considering that “he remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats. ... While his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.”
As an associate editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com, Chelsey keeps a finger on the pulse on all things celeb news. She also writes on social movements, connecting with activists leading the fight on workers' rights, climate justice, and more. Offline, she’s probably spending too much time on TikTok, rewatching Emma (the 2020 version, of course), or buying yet another corset.