Prince Harry Says, The High Court heard that Prince Harry argues Meghan and his children cannot “feel at home” in the UK if it is “not possible to keep them safe.”
Prince Harry Says Meghan and His Children Cannot Feel at Home
The Duke of Sussex has stated that he and his family were ‘forced’ to leave the country in 2020, and he refuses to acknowledge that he opted to relinquish royal obligations.
The emotive witness testimony comes as Harry prepares to file a judicial challenge against the Home Office over a change in his security arrangements when visiting, which might result in the removal of taxpayer-funded armed protection.
He now claims that his children cannot ‘feel at home’ in Britain because it is “impossible to keep them safe.”
During a hearing in London today, the duke’s barrister, Shaheed Fatima KC, stated that Harry did not accept it was a “choice” for him to stop being a “full-time working member of the royal family.”
‘It was with great grief for both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this responsibility and leave the country in 2020,’ the lawyer read from the duke’s statement.
My residence is in the United Kingdom. My children’s heritage is deeply rooted in the United Kingdom, and I want them to feel at home there as much as they do in the United States. That cannot happen if they cannot be kept safe while on British territory.
‘I cannot put my wife in danger like that, and given my past experiences, I am hesitant to put myself in danger as well.’
After a two-and-a-half-day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice concluded on Thursday, Harry now awaits a judge’s decision on his legal action against the Home Office.
The duke’s attorneys are disputing the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) to change the degree of his publicly financed security, alleging it was ‘unlawful and unfair’.
Because the case featured classified evidence about security procedures, the majority of the hearings were held in private, without the public or press present.
Ms Fatima previously testified in court that Harry was singled out and treated ‘less favourably’ when the amount of his security was reduced.
She claimed Ravec failed to conduct a risk assessment and thoroughly evaluate the consequences of a successful attack’ on him.
According to the lawyer, a ‘crucial’ aspect of Ravec’s methodology was an analysis conducted by the Risk Management Board (RMB), but it elected not to do so in Harry’s case.
She claimed it was the first time the body had decided to ‘deviate’ from policy, adopting a ‘far worse’ method about ‘important protections’.
No clear explanation has been presented for singling the claimant (the duke) out in this way,’ she added, later adding that if Ravec had ‘seriously’ considered the duke’s case, the decision would likely have been ‘different’.
The Government, however, believes Harry’s claim should be dismissed, stating that Ravec, which falls under the purview of the Home Office, was within his rights to determine that the duke’s protection should be ‘bespoke’ and examined on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.
In written submissions, the Home Office’s Sir James Eadie KC stated that the choice “not to conduct an RMB analysis but to conduct a more customized, targeted assessment does not amount to treating (Harry) “less favourably.”
He stated that Ravec had opted to “improve the bespoke process to allow more specific and informed consideration by Ravec of the threat and risk picture for each visit.”
Sir James stated that it was simply false to claim that there was no indication that the subject of impact was examined, adding that the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, Harry’s mother, was discussed as part of the decision.
‘Ravec attributed greater weight to the impact on state services being diminished as a result of the adjustment, over the anticipated substantial public uproar were a successful attack on (Harry) to occur,’ he continued.
Mr Justice Lane will render his decision on the case at a later date.
The security matter is one of five High Court cases in which the Duke is involved, including lengthy litigation against newspaper publishers.
Harry, who was not present at the hearing, now resides in North America with his wife Meghan and their children Archie and Lilibet, after announcing their retirement as senior royals in January 2020.
Ms Fatima opened today’s hearing by saying, ‘This case is about a person’s right to safety and security, and there could not be a right more important to all of us.’
In written contributions, she stated that the risk the duke confronts “arises from his birth and ongoing status as HM the King’s son.”
‘The claimant’s constant position has been – and continues to be – that he should be afforded state security in light of the threats/risks he confronts,’ she added.
The barrister later stated that the duke is ‘plainly’ part of the group that Ravec should consider.
‘The effect of the February 20 ruling is that Ravec is only required to assess protective security for the Duke of Sussex when he enters the UK,’ Ms Fatima explained.
‘That is not to say he is no longer one of the principals Ravec must evaluate; he is.’
However, the Home Office’s Sir James Eadie KC rejected her arguments, stating, ‘There is no established common law right to publicly sponsored protection.’
He claimed Harry was given ‘bespoke’ treatment since his security needs were examined anytime he informed the Home Office of his intention to visit Britain.
‘In determining whether to offer protective security to any such individual… Ravec analyses the risk of a successful attack on that individual,’ he stated in written submissions.
‘In essence, Ravec evaluates the threat that an individual confronts, which is assessed by reference to hostile actors’ capabilities and intent, that individual’s vulnerability to such an attack, and the impact that such an attack would have on the state’s interests.’
‘His status had fundamentally changed as a result of the fact that he would no longer be a working member of the Royal Family and would be residing abroad most of the time,’ he continued.
‘In such cases, protective security would not be supplied on the same terms as before. In special and specified circumstances, he would be given protective security while in the United Kingdom.’
‘As a result, Ravec has treated the claimant in a tailored fashion,’ Sir James continued.’He is no longer a member of the group of people whose security is still being reviewed regularly by Ravec. However, he is brought back into the cohort under the right circumstances.’
Ravec’s task, according to the barrister, was to weigh the possibility of a public figure being attacked with the ‘limited’ nature of police financing.
And he stated that Ravec’s consideration that the Duke of Sussex was stepping back as a working royal was ‘plainly sensible’ and legal.
‘The fact that the Duke of Sussex cannot be removed from the Royal Family is trite, but it does not add to the balance that Ravec must establish. Its judgements were made with this understanding in mind.’
‘The ruling – and its practical execution for the claimant’s subsequent trips – accepted that he yet occupies a particular and peculiar position, such that it may be appropriate to offer him protected security in some situations,’ the barrister noted.
The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, was mentioned in the High Court as part of the ruling about the Duke of Sussex’s security.
‘Ravec was aware of the larger “impact” following the unfortunate loss of the claimant’s mother, and this was also a topic mentioned by the royal household,’ added Sir James.
The barrister went on to say that a successful attack on the claimant would cause “significant public uproar.”
But he went on to say, ‘The judgement, and its subsequent implementation, represented a permissible balance of pertinent considerations, in the conduct of an evaluation of risk, impact, and threat.’The investigation is ongoing.