Prince Harry Loses Initial Bid to Appeal UK Security Protection Ruling

Prince Harry loses initial appeal in UK security battle, raising questions about public funding for royal protection. Despite setback, he plans to return to London for Invictus Games anniversary.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Prince Harry Loses Initial Bid to Appeal UK Security Protection Ruling

Prince Harry Loses Initial Bid to Appeal UK Security Protection Ruling

Prince Harry has lost his initial attempt to appeal a High Court ruling regarding his security protection in the UK. The Duke of Sussex had challenged the British government's decision to downgrade his taxpayer-funded police protection after he and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties in 2020.

The legal battle began over four years ago when Harry claimed that he and his family were endangered when visiting his home country due to hostility toward him and his wife. The government argued that Harry had been treated fairly and was still provided protection on some of his visits.

In February, a High Court judge ruled that the decision to provide bespoke security on an as-needed basis was not unlawful, irrational, or unjustified. Harry's bid to appeal the ruling was rejected, but he can now seek permission directly from the Court of Appeal.

Why this matters: The ongoing legal dispute highlights the challenges faced by members of the royal family who step back from official duties but still require security protection. It also raises questions about the use of public funds for such protection and the level of threat faced by high-profile individuals.

The judge ordered Harry to pay 90% of the UK Home Office's legal costs for defending the court's initial ruling, noting that the government had committed some "breaches" during the proceedings. The exact amount was not specified, but a Freedom of Information request revealed that the government had spent over £500,000 on the case so far.

Despite this setback, Prince Harry is reportedly heading back to London on May 8 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, which he founded in 2014 as a Paralympic-style event designed to inspire military veterans. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex currently reside in California after stepping down as senior royals in 2020.

Key Takeaways

  • Prince Harry loses initial appeal over UK security protection
  • Legal battle began over 4 years ago due to safety concerns
  • High Court ruled decision to provide security as-needed was lawful
  • Harry ordered to pay 90% of UK Home Office's legal costs
  • Despite setback, Harry to visit UK for Invictus Games anniversary