Prince Harry: Parts of duke’s court battle over police protection will be kept secret

Duke is bringing legal claim against Home Office after being told he would no longer receive ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from US

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 24 March 2022 11:04
<p>Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is bringing a legal challenge against a Home Office decision to change his level of police protection in the UK</p>

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is bringing a legal challenge against a Home Office decision to change his level of police protection in the UK

Parts of documents in a case brought by the Duke of Sussex against the Home Office over his police protection in the UK will remain secret, a High Court judge has ruled.

Prince Harry is bringing a claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the "same degree" of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.

The duke wants to bring his children to the UK, but "does not feel safe" when visiting under current security arrangements, the High Court was previously told.

He is challenging the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), which has delegated powers from the home secretary.

Preliminary court proceedings last month, largely held in private, covered an application by the duke and the Home Office for some parts of court documents in the case to be kept private.

The court was told both the duke and the Home Office were agreed on the “vast majority” of what should be redacted from witness evidence and the document outlining the duke’s case.

In a judgment on Thursday, Mr Justice Swift said the bid to redact documents was allowed.

Harry is arguing that his private protection team in the US does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information which is needed to keep him, his wife Meghan Markle and their two children safe

In his ruling, Mr Justice Swift said editing out information from court documents would “avoid the risk that putting information into the public domain concerning security arrangements made on past occasions, and the general approach to whether and if so what arrangements should be made, may impair the effectiveness of arrangements in place now, or which may be put in place in the future”.

He added: “Information about these matters would self-evidently be of interest to anyone wishing to harm a person within the scope of the security arrangements and would assist them to piece together previous practice with a view to anticipating present or future security provision.”

The duke’s barrister, Shaheed Fatima QC, previously told the court Harry considers the UK “is and always will be his home”.

A legal representative for Harry previously said he wants to fund the security himself, rather than ask taxpayers to foot the bill.

Harry is arguing that his private protection team in the US does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information which is needed to keep his family safe.

The duke and his wife Meghan live in the US with their children Archie and Lilibet after quitting as senior working royals in early 2020.

Harry briefly returned from Los Angeles last year for the 1 July unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial statue, and the day before he met seriously ill children and young people at a garden party and afternoon tea in Kew Gardens, west London.

It is understood his car was chased by photographers as he left.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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