The UK's Prince Harry Loses Ground in Legal Battles over Taxpayer-Funded Security

Legal Battle Over Security Costs Escalates for Prince Harry

by Nouman Rasool
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The UK's Prince Harry Loses Ground in Legal Battles over Taxpayer-Funded Security
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Prince Harry faced a crushing defeat in the law courts, with his appeal against the High Court decision being overturned and now limiting expenditure of taxpayers' money on police security while he is in the UK. This could mean that the Duke would have to pay huge legal bills.

The row started in September 2021, with Prince Harry's official complaint about the UK Home Office decision to stop having protection. Harry had left with his wife, Meghan Markle, to stay in the United States and this was a condition they had to put in place.

Responding to making such a choice, the executive committee for the protection of royalty and public figures (Ravec) said that Harry was no longer qualified to be protected by British taxpayers because he had moved to America.

While he had been given leave in 2022 to proceed with an appeal, Harry's legal argument on his American security team - which he contended was wrongly assessed as inadequate for UK protection - clearly did not gain traction with the court.

On Wednesday, Sir Peter Lane upheld the Home Office's position, and now Harry's legal representatives are back in the position where they can have another bite at the cherry. The legal statement from Harry's team revealed that their client's central point was to demand equitable treatment under Ravec's regulations; he asked for fair execution of the policies by the committee.

Harry's Legal Setback

If Prince Harry's continued appeal is dismissed, in what is the last appeal available, he will have to pick up not just his own legal fees but also foot the public body's Home Office bill. By October, the claims had cost the government over £407,000, and without doubt, this already inflated figure has ballooned following a three-day hearing in December.

Prince Harry's legal bill is likely to be larger than that of the Home Office, given he has had to use at least one celebrity law firm and has been represented in the claim by Schillings International and a team of four barristers.

The standard rule in High Court cases is that the loser picks up the legal tabs for both sides. The Home Office on Wednesday welcomed the decision as an indication of thoroughness and fair play in Britain's protective security system but declined further comment while the litigation went on.

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