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bitchy | Prince Harry’s UK police protection case goes to the High Court today

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During the Jubbly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex only attended two events, Trooping the Colour and the St. Paul’s Cathedral service. It’s possible that their limited public appearances were entirely their call. In fact, I think it’s become clear that they were invited to several additional Jubbly events but they declined, because the sole point of the trip for them was seeing the Queen and introducing Lili to her. All that being said, I do wonder if their limited public schedule was the result of the lack of protection. Pre-Jubbly, much was made in the British tabloids about how of course the Sussexes could “visit” whenever they want, just as long as they’re attached to another royal with protection, and no, they can’t pay for police protection, nor are they allowed to bring their own armed security with them.

Harry was suing the Home Office over all of it, but the British tabloids claimed that the security issues had been “worked out” ahead of the Jubbly. As I said at the time, the bigger issue of security had not been worked out, it’s just that Harry had figured out a temporary work-around to briefly visit his grandmother and go to two Jubbly events. All of which to say, he’s still suing the Home Office and it’s headed to the High Court today:

Prince Harry’s legal battle against the Home Office over his access to police protection while in the UK will go to the High Court today. The Duke of Sussex is taking legal action against the department after being told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.

The royal, 37, says he wants to bring wife Meghan Markle and their children Archie and Lilibet to visit from the US. But he and his family, who now live in Montecito, California, are ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is too dangerous, a representative previously said. They returned last month for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee after reportedly being given ‘cast iron assurances’ they would be protected by specialist police.

Today Prince Harry’s lawyers will ask Mr Justice Swift at a hearing in London to grant permission for a full judicial review of the Home Office’s decision. At a previous hearing in March, the judge ruled that parts of the court documents in the case should be remain private. Harry is challenging the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) – which has delegated powers from the Home Secretary – over his security.

At a preliminary hearing earlier this year, the High Court in London heard an application by both sides for some parts of the court documents in the case to be kept private. Mr Justice Swift said the bid to withhold or redact documents – including a confidential witness statement made by Harry – was allowed.

[From The Daily Mail]

This is not one of the sexier, more compelling Sussex stories but I’ve still been trying to follow the different threads. It seems to me like the Home Office got caught out playing politics instead of assuring a prince of the realm (and a veteran who has been under extremist threats for years) that of course he would have the protection he needs when he visits the UK. While the tabloids have screamed and cried and tried to make it sound like Harry is flat-out wrong to want his family protected or pay back the cost of security, it feels like no one in Salt Island is looking forward to Harry pushing this issue further. The Ravec issue is particularly important here, and I feel like this might simply be the beginning of Harry doing real damage to the royal ecosystem. Speaking of, Harry’s argument seems to be that the Queen’s private secretary Edward Young was likely the one who made the call about withdrawing Harry’s security, and that Young did so for personal, petty reasons.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.



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