UK

Harry to discover outcome of legal challenge over change to personal security

The Duke of Sussex took legal action against the Home Office over a decision to change his security arrangements when in the UK.

The High Court was told that Harry believes his children cannot ‘feel at home’ in the UK if it is ‘not possible to keep them safe’ there
The Duke of Sussex The High Court was told that Harry believes his children cannot ‘feel at home’ in the UK if it is ‘not possible to keep them safe’ there (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Duke of Sussex is due to learn whether he has won a High Court challenge against the Government over a decision to change the level of his personal security when visiting the UK.

Harry took legal action against the Home Office over the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) that he should receive a different degree of protection when in the country.

Following a hearing in December, retired High Court judge Sir Peter Lane is set to issue his ruling over the case on Wednesday.

The duke’s lawyers previously told the court that he was “singled out” and treated “less favourably” in the decision to change the level of his taxpayer-funded personal security.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany in September
Invictus Games – Dusseldorf The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany in September (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

They said a failure to carry out a risk analysis and fully consider the impact of a “successful attack” on him meant the approach to his protection was “unlawful and unfair”.

The court was told that Harry believes his children cannot “feel at home” in the UK if it is “not possible to keep them safe” there.

The Government said Harry’s claim should be dismissed, arguing that Ravec – which falls under the Home Office’s remit – was entitled to conclude the duke’s protection should be “bespoke” and considered on a “case-by-case” basis.

Home Office lawyers said the duke was no longer a member of the group of people whose “security position” was under regular review by Ravec, but he was “brought back within the cohort in the appropriate circumstances”.

The court was told that it was “simply incorrect” to suggest that there was no evidence that the issue of impact was considered, adding that the death of Diana, Princess of Wales – Harry’s mother – was raised as part of the decision.

Ravec has delegated responsibility from the Home Office over the provision of protective security arrangements for members of the royal family and others, with involvement from the Metropolitan Police, the Cabinet Office and the royal household.

The majority of the proceedings in December were held in private, without the public or press present, because of confidential evidence over security measures being involved in the case.

The security case is one of three remaining live High Court cases brought by the duke, alongside claims over allegations of unlawful information gathering against publishers News Group Newspapers (NGN) and Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL).

Earlier this month, Harry settled the remaining parts of his phone hacking claim against Mirror Group Newspapers.

It came after the duke decided in January to withdraw a libel claim against ANL over a February 2022 Mail on Sunday article about his legal challenge against the Home Office.

Harry, who was not present at the December hearing, lives in North America with wife Meghan and their children after the couple announced they were stepping back as senior royals in January 2020.

Sir Peter’s written ruling is due to be released from 10.30am on Wednesday.