Prince Harry Challenges UK Government’s Decision, Prince Harry, second from right, is escorted by security as he leaves the High Court in London after giving testimony on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.
On Tuesday, December 5, 2023, Prince Harry will challenge the British government’s decision to remove him from his security detail after he renounced his status as a working member of the royal family and migrated to the United States.
The Duke of Sussex stated that he needs protection when he visits home, claiming that an aggressive press endangers his and his family’s safety.
Prince Harry Challenges UK Government’s Decision
LONDON (AP) — A lawyer for Prince Harry on Tuesday contested the British government’s decision to deprive him of his security detail after he gave up his status as a working member of the royal family and went to the United States.
The Duke of Sussex has stated that his safety is jeopardized in part due to social media antagonism against him and his family, as well as a relentless press that pursues him.
According to attorney Shaheed Fatima, the group that evaluated Harry’s security needs — known by the acronym of its former name, the Royal and VIP Executive Committee (RAVEC) — acted irrationally and unfairly by failing to follow its policies, which required applying a risk analysis to the duke’s safety.
“RAVEC should have considered the ‘impact’ that a successful attack on the claimant would have, bearing in mind his status, background, and profile within the royal family — which he was born into and which he will have for the rest of his life,” Fatima went on to say. “RAVEC should have considered, in particular, the impact on the U.K.’s reputation of a successful attack on the claimant.”
The three-day hearing in London’s High Court is the latest in a series of Harry’s legal battles that have kept London judges busy as he takes on the United Kingdom government and the British tabloid media.
Harry was not in court as attorneys delivered opening remarks at a hearing intended to be held largely behind closed doors to address sensitive security issues. The judge is anticipated to rule at a later date.
Earlier this year, Harry failed to persuade a separate court that he should be permitted to privately pay for London’s police force to protect him when he visits the city. A judge rejected that offer when a government lawyer claimed that officers should not be deployed as “private bodyguards for the wealthy.”
Harry, the youngest son of King Charles III, said he was frightened about his safety after being hounded by paparazzi at a charity event in London.
Harry’s aversion to the press stems from the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in a car accident in 1997 while her driver attempted to avoid pushy photographers in Paris. Harry, whose wife is multiracial, cited racist views and unpleasant intrusions by the British media in his decision to leave the country.
The 39-year-old prince is contesting the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures’ decision to offer his protection on a “case-by-case” basis after migrating to Canada and then California in 2020, where he and his family now reside.
“He should be placed in a bespoke position, with bespoke arrangements… specifically tailored to him,” government counsel James Eadie argued. “He is no longer a member of the cohort of individuals whose security position remains under regular review.”
Eadie added that there was also a cost consideration because security budgets are limited and that Harry has been granted protection for particular events, such as his visit in June 2021.
Harry said the committee unfairly denied his security request without hearing from him directly and failed to disclose the panel’s makeup, which he later discovered included royal family staff. He said that Edward Young, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s assistant private secretary, should not have served on the committee due to “significant tensions” between the two men.
The Home Office has maintained that any difficulties between Harry and the royal household personnel were irrelevant and that the committee was entitled to its conclusion because he had resigned from his function as a working member of the family.
Harry has five cases ongoing in the High Court.
The four other cases include Britain’s most well-known tabloids, including one alleging that the Daily Mail’s editor libeled him when it published a story implying he had tried to conceal his efforts to continue obtaining government-funded protection. A decision on the matter is expected on Friday.
Three other cases claim that journalists at the Mail, Daily Mirror, and Sun utilized deception, phone hacking, and employing private investigators to gather dirt on him.