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Prince Harry set for three-day High Court battle over legal right to protection

Harry to tell High Court that Royal household should not have been allowed to influence the Government

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 04 December 2023 14:29 GMT
Omid Scobie opens up on 'upsetting' revelation about Harry and William's relationship

Prince Harry’s three-day High Court case against the Home Office over UK security arrangements for his family begins tomorrow, as a royal race row continues to rumble on.

The Duke of Sussex is challenging the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), governed by the Home Office, when it ruled that Prince Harry and his family would not be granted the “same degree” of protection when visiting the UK.

The Ravec decision was announced after Prince Harry and wife Meghan stepped down as senior members of the royal family before relocating to the United States.

Harry subsequently won the right to partially challenge the High Court’s decision not to grant him automatic police protection last July, with lawyers for the duke arguing the new security arrangements were invalid due to “procedural unfairness”.

At the hearing last July, counsel for the duke argued that he wasn’t aware that the royal household was involved in Ravec’s decision to deny him police protection, after it emerged that the late Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young and the Earl of Rosalyn, the master of then-Prince Charles’s household, were on the Ravec committee.

Attorneys for Prince Harry claimed Sir Edward should not have been part of the Ravec verdict considering there were “significant tensions” between them.

Harry’s application to bring a second challenge against the UK government over the Home Office’s decision to refuse his request to pay privately for police protection was refused in a ruling this May.

The hearing comes on the heels of a royal scandal concerning the Sussexes and two senior members of the royal family, with royal reporter Omid Scobie’s new book Endgame at the heart of the controversy.

Buckingham Palace is said to be “considering all options” including legal action, after the Dutch version of Scobie’s book named King Charles and Catherine, Princess of Wales, as the royals who speculated about the colour of Prince Harry and Meghan’s firstborn baby while the duchess was pregnant.

The claim was first sensationally made by the duchess, during a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, when she alleged there were “concerns and conversations” within the palace about how dark Prince Archie’s skin might be.

Prince Harry later denied Meghan was accusing the royal family of racism.

However, the row was reignited last month after an alleged “translation error” led to Charles and Catherine’s names being included in the Dutch version of Endgame.

While Scobie, 42, denied ever writing any version which included the royals’s names, it has now been revealed in a report by The Sunday Times that the author’s UK agent United Travel Agency (UTA), sent the book’s Dutch publishers an early draft which named Charles and Catherine as the senior members in connection with the Sussexes’s allegations.

The Independent has contacted UTA and Scobie for comment.

Neither the couple nor Buckingham Palace have publicly addressed the contents of Scobie’s book.

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