Prince Harry Reacts After Losing U.K. Protection Legal Battle, Says He'll Appeal

The Duke of Sussex says that he plans to appeal Wednesday's ruling.

Prince Harry lost his legal fight for his appeal to have private protection for him, Meghan Markle and their two children, Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, when they travel back to the U.K. 

Harry took the matter to court after his family was stripped of their private security in the U.K. upon relocating to California in February 2020. Over the course of the legal matter, the royal has argued that he and his family need protection as they face various issues of concern when returning to the U.K.

On Wednesday, High Court judge Peter Lane upheld the decision by the U.K. government and the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC), regarding Harry's security. 

"The court has found that there has not been any unlawfulness in reaching the decision of 28 February 2020. Any departure from policy was justified," the document obtained by ET stated. "The decision was not irrational. The decision was not  marred by procedural unfairness. Even if such  procedural unfairness occurred, the court would in any event be prevented from granting the claimant relief. This is because, leaving aside any such unlawfulness, it is highly likely that the outcome for the claimant would not have been substantially different."

The documents continued, "The court has also found that there has been no unlawfulness on the part of RAVEC in respect of its arrangements for certain of the claimant’s visits to Great Britain, following the decision of 28 February 2020."

In a statement obtained by ET, Harry says that he plans to appeal the decision. 

"The Duke of Sussex will appeal today’s judgment which refuses his judicial review claim against the decision-making body RAVEC, which includes the Home Office, the Royal Household and the Met Police," a statement from his legal spokesperson read. "Although these are not labels used by RAVEC, three categories - as revealed during the litigation - comprise the 'RAVEC cohort': the Role Based Category, the Occasional Category and the Other VIP Category. The Duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of RAVEC’s own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others in accordance with RAVEC’s own written policy."

The statement continued, "In February 2020, RAVEC failed to apply its written policy to The Duke of Sussex and excluded him from a particular risk analysis. The Duke’s case is that the so-called 'bespoke process' that applies to him, is no substitute for that risk analysis. The Duke of Sussex hopes he will obtain justice from the Court of Appeal, and makes no further comment while the case is ongoing."

Amid the ruling, new information has been revealed regarding the car chase that Harry and Meghan were involved in last year. 

In May 2023, Harry, Meghan and Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase involving dozens of blacked out vehicles that were driven recklessly in New York City, following an awards ceremony," a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement to ET at the time.

"Last night, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi," the spokesperson added. "This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers." 

The statement continued, "While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety. Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved."

In documents from Wednesday's ruling obtained by ET, a letter was submitted to the court by the Chief of Intelligence of New York City Police Department for consideration, stating that "reckless endangerment did take place on 16 May 2023, when the claimant and the Duchess were being driven in Manhattan." 

In a statement to ET, the DCPI spokesperson confirmed a letter was sent to the courts from the NYPD on behalf of the duke and duchess. 

"We can confirm that the NYPD sent the letter and we have since increased security protocols for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex," the statement read. "For questions regarding charges, please be referred to the Manhattan District Attorney."

In 2022, Harry released a statement defending his decision to request security for him and his family, noting that he would personally pay for his family's protection in order to not interfere with the British taxpayer's funds. 

“Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats,” the statement read. "While his role within the Institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family."

It continued, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home."

In the years that have passed since his first filing, Harry has returned home. Earlier this month, the duke made a 24-hour trip to visit his father, King Charles III, following his cancer diagnosis. 


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