Prince Harry's Attempt to Privately Fund Police Protection Rejected by UK Court
London's High Court has announced a ruling against Prince Harry's legal effort to personally finance police protection for himself and his family during their visits to the UK.
The Duke of Sussex's request for a judicial review to overturn the decision denying him the right to self-fund police protection was dismissed by Mr. Justice Chamberlain, as per the BBC's report. The one-day court hearing was held in London last week.
The executive body responsible for the safety of high-profile personalities, including the British royal family, the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), had been the target of Prince Harry's legal challenge. Harry and Meghan Markle, his wife, lost their publicly financed police security after renouncing their royal roles in 2020.
Prince Harry's lawyers argued in court, "Ravec has exceeded its authority, its power, because it doesn't have the power to make this decision in the first place."
However, the U.K. Home Office countered, explaining that the specialist bodyguard-type protection Prince Harry proposed to fund was not comparable to funding for additional security at soccer matches.
The legal representative for the U.K.'s Metropolitan Police also posited that it would be unreasonable to put officers in harm's way due to a "payment of a fee by a private individual."
The Home Office’s lawyers revealed that Ravec unanimously opposed Prince Harry's proposal as a matter of policy, rejecting the notion that a "wealthy person should be permitted to 'buy' protective security."
The Home Office's lawyers further stated in court that even if Ravec had allowed Prince Harry to make representations, such arguments would not have changed the committee's stance.
People noted that the second part of Prince Harry's claim against the Home Office, focusing on a July 2022 hearing, is yet to be heard in court.
Simon Morgan, a former royal family protection officer, had previously shared his views on Prince Harry's pursuit of privately funded police protection in the UK. Speaking to Insider, he anticipated that the Prince's bid would be unlikely to succeed, as approval would set a "difficult precedent."
Morgan explained, "Because if you can pay for it, it can effectively go to the highest bidder." He added, "Anyone with a certain degree of wealth could pay for it... you're looking at needs versus wants for protection. And also, it comes down to something quite simple, there probably aren't enough protection officers to fulfill that want."