Court rules on Prince Harry’s security saga

Should Price Harry have protection in UK?

Prince Harry and Meghan. Credit: lev radin/

Should Prince Harry’s security be a privilege or a right when in the UK?

After a legal challenge launched back in December 2023, Prince Harry faced a setback as the High Court dismissed his challenge against the UK government’s decision to remove his police protection during his stays in the UK.

The ruling was delivered on Wednesday, February 28, by retired High Court judge Sir Peter Lane has marked a critical moment in the Duke of Sussex’s ongoing dispute over his security arrangements.

Legal arguments and court’s decision

Harry’s legal team contended that he was unfairly ‘singled out’ and received ‘less favourable’ treatment regarding the alteration of his taxpayer-funded personal security.

They argued that the absence of a risk assessment and a thorough examination of the consequences of a ‘successful attack’ rendered the decision ‘unlawful and unfair’.

However, the court found the decision to be neither ‘unlawful’ nor ‘irrational’, stating there was no ‘procedural unfairness’.

The judgement further noted, ‘Even if such procedural unfairness occurred, the court would in any event be prevented from granting the claimant [Prince Harry] relief… it is highly likely that the outcome for the claimant would not have been substantially different.’

Security downgrade and privacy concerns

The core of Prince Harry’s legal challenge was the downgrade in his security status after he stepped back from being a ‘working royal’. The Home Office maintained that his security would continue to be publicly funded but through ‘bespoke arrangements, specifically tailored to him’, instead of the automatic protection accorded to full-time working royals.

This adjustment came after a previous legal defeat where Harry sought permission to personally fund his police protection, highlighting his concerns over reduced security since ceasing his role as a full-time royal.

The proceedings, which dealt with security measures for high-profile individuals, were largely conducted in private to protect confidential evidence.

This legal defeat underscores the complexities surrounding the security arrangements for royals who step back from official duties, raising questions about the balance between public interest and individual security needs.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.