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Prince Harry Loses Fight for U.K. Police Protection, Planning Appeal to ‘Obtain Justice’

Prince Harry Plans Appeal After Losing Fight for UK Police Protection
Prince Harry Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prince Harry is already planning an appeal after losing his legal battle for improved security in the U.K.

A judge in the U.K.’s High Court reportedly ruled on Wednesday, February 28, that the British government has the right to change the level of police protection for a royal family member who is no longer performing their official duties. Judge Peter Lane issued a 51-page ruling declaring that the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec)’s move to change Harry’s security level was not unfair or irrational.

Shortly after the ruling made headlines, a legal spokesperson noted in a statement that Harry, 39, will take his case to the Court of Appeal.

“The Duke of Sussex will appeal today’s judgment which refuses his judicial review claim against the decision-making body Ravec, which includes the Home Office, the Royal Household and the Met Police,” read the statement, per The Telegraph. “Although these are not labels used by Ravec, three categories — as revealed during the litigation — comprise the ‘Ravec cohort’: the Role Based Category, the Occasional Category and the Other VIP Category.”

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The statement continued: “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.”

According to the spokesperson, “Ravec failed to apply its written policy” to Harry in February 2020 and “excluded him from a particular risk analysis.”

The statement concluded: “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.”

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Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, announced in January 2020 that they were stepping back from their senior roles within the royal family. They moved to California later that year, and their exit was made permanent in February 2021. (The couple share son Archie, 4, and daughter Lilibet, 2.)

In January 2022, Harry addressed a decision made by the U.K.’s Home Office which ruled that he would be unable to personally fund police protection for his family while in England. “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,” read the statement, declaring that Harry “inherited a security risk at birth, for life” as the son of King Charles III and the late Princess Diana.

After relocating to California, Harry and Meghan, 42, began to personally fund their own security team. “That security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK,” the statement continued. “In absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return home.”

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In a subsequent court hearing, Harry’s attorney claimed that the duke “does not feel safe” bringing his children overseas. “Of course, it should go without saying that he wants to come back: to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart. Most of all, this is, and always will be, his home,” the lawyer stated in February 2022. (Harry and Meghan have traveled to the U.K. and Europe a handful of times since without their kids. Most recently, he returned for a quick visit with his father amid the monarch’s battle with cancer.)

More than one year after Harry’s initial complaint, a judge in London’s High Court denied his bid to hire police protection, arguing in May 2023 that authorities are not “private bodyguards for the wealthy.” The decision came shortly after Harry and Meghan were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” in New York City. (The NYPD insisted in a statement that “there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests” at the time.)

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