Prince Harry challenges UK government’s decision to strip him of security when he moved to US

Duke of Sussex challenging decision made after he gave up status as working member of royal family

Brian Melley
Tuesday 05 December 2023 09:33

Prince Harry’s battle against the government’s decision to strip him of his security detail when he moved to the US goes to the High Court on Tuesday.

The three-day hearing is one of five legal cases that Harry has pending in the High Court. Harry said he did not feel safe bringing his wife Meghan and their two young children back to Britain and was concerned about his own safety after being chased by paparazzi following a London charity event.

The Duke failed to persuade a different judge earlier this year that he should be able to privately pay for London’s police force to guard him when he comes to visit the UK. A judge denied that offer after a government lawyer argued that officers shouldn't be used as “private bodyguards for the wealthy.”

The 39-year-old prince is challenging the decision by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures to provide his security on a “case by case” basis after moving in 2020 to Canada and then California, where he and his family now reside.

He said the committee unfairly nixed his security request without hearing from him personally and did not disclose the makeup of the panel, which he later learned included royal family staff.

Harry says he wants security provided when he and his family are in the UK

He said Edward Young, the assistant private secretary to the late Queen Elizabeth II, should not have been on the committee because of “significant tensions” between the two men.

The Home Office has argued that any tensions between Harry and the royal household staff was irrelevant and that the committee was entitled to its decision because he had relinquished his role as a working member of the family.

The four other lawsuits involve Britain's best-known tabloids, including a case that alleges the publisher of the Daily Mail libeled him when it ran a story suggesting he had tried to hide his efforts to continue receiving government-funded security. A ruling is expected in that case Friday.

Three other lawsuits allege that journalists at the Mail, the Daily Mirror, and The Sun used unlawful means, such as deception, phone hacking or hiring private investigators to dig up dirt about him.

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