Prince Harry loses security court ruling, which could affect his visits to the UK

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leaves the Rolls Building of the High Court after giving evidence during the Mirror Group phone hacking trial in London, June 6, 2023.

Prince Harry has suffered a legal defeat in a ruling that could have implications for whether he, his wife, Duchess Meghan, and their two children, Archie and Lilibet, will visit the UK.

A judge in London ruled on Wednesday that the UK government had the right to strip Harry of his automatic security details during his visits to Britain.

A spokesman for the duke told ABC News that Harry, 39, intends to appeal the judge's ruling.

The spokesman said in a statement: “The Duke of Sussex will appeal today’s ruling rejecting his claim for judicial review against the decision-making body RAVEC, which includes the Home Office, the Royal Household and the Metropolitan Police.” He is not asking for preferential treatment, but rather a fair and lawful application of RAVEC's own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others according to RAVEC's written policy… The Duke of Sussex hopes to get justice from the Court of Appeal, and is not commenting further while the case is ongoing .

Harry, who is fifth in line to the throne, is resisting a decision taken by the government in 2020 to deprive his family of automatic police protection funded by taxpayers while he is in Britain after he and Meghan stepped down from their positions as senior members of the royal family.

At the time, the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures, known as RAVEC, made the decision to grant security to the Sussexes on a case-by-case basis.

MORE: Prince Harry visits King Charles after cancer diagnosis: 'I love my family'

Harry, who now lives in California with Meghan and their children, said he wants police protection for his family while on British soil, and is willing to pay the cost himself.

The judge's ruling in Harry's security case came less than two weeks after Harry made an overnight trip to the United Kingdom to see his father, King Charles III, who had been diagnosed with an unknown type of cancer.

Harry's visit to Charles was the first time he had seen his father since May, when he traveled to the United Kingdom to attend Charles' coronation. Harry traveled alone to attend the coronation ceremony and see his father earlier this month.

The last time Meghan was known to have joined Harry in the UK was in September 2022, when they both attended the funeral of Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Harry and Meghan's children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2, joined their parents on a trip to the UK in June 2022 to attend the Queen's Jubilee. Archie, who was born in the UK, and Lilibet, who was born in California, are not known to have visited the UK since then.

In an interview earlier this month, before the court ruling, Harry told ABC News' Will Reeve that he had upcoming trips to the UK on his schedule.

Harry said: “I have other trips planned that will take me across the UK, or back to the UK, so I will stop and see my family as much as I can.”

Since moving to California, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have relied on a privately funded security team.

MORE: King Charles III seen in new photos after being diagnosed with cancer

The family's current security situation is similar to that of Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, who had to rely on private security protection after her divorce from Harry's father, Prince Charles, in 1996.

One year later, in 1997, Diana He died in a car accident in Paris After photographers chased the car she was traveling in.

“When Diana died, she didn't have police protection. She had a private security team at that point,” ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy told ABC News. “And I think it's very clear that Prince Harry feels that police protection is superior and that's what he wants for his family.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *