Prince Harry Loses Legal Battle to Pay For His Police Protection During U.K. Visits
Prince Harry suffered a loss in court Tuesday when a London judge ruled against his efforts to get permission to pay for police protection when he visits Britain.
The High Court rejected his request for a judicial review of a previous decision by the Home Office to turn down his application to pay the Metropolitan Police to protect him when he and his family visits the U.K., The New York Times reported.
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Lawyers for Harry had argued that the government’s decision to turn down his request exceeded its authority, The Guardian reported. The government argued that public confidence would be undermined if people thought wealthy individuals could receive security they wouldn’t themselves receive if they were less wealthy.
The British government stopped providing Harry security after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, decided to step away from their royal duties and move to California back in 2020. Harry is also separately challenging that decision, according to The Guardian.
Harry has said that he doesn’t feel safe during his U.K. visits with his kids, citing aggressive photographers. The Times reported that Harry said in his memoir, Spare, that his protection was the one royal perk he pleaded to keep when negotiating his exit from his royal duties with palace officials. “I offered to defray the cost of security out of my own pocket,” he wrote. “I wasn’t sure how I’d do that, but I’d find a way.”
The decision comes after Harry and Meghan’s alleged incident in New York City involving paparazzi. A spokesperson for Harry said the couple was involved in a “near catastrophic car chase,” that resulted in “multiple near collisions.” However the New York Police Department released a statement saying that there were “no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests.” Meanwhile, dozens of photographers were more blunt with The Times, saying that the claims were manufactured and overhyped.
Harry is scheduled to testify next month in the U.K. for his ongoing trial against Rupert Murdoch-owned News Group Newspapers, alleging that they engaged in illegal acts like phone hacking to gather information for their stories, according to The Associated Press.
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