British Queen celebrates


Prince Harry has taken the Home Office to the High Court, contesting the level of security protection he receives during visits to the UK.

His legal team seeks to overturn a ruling that downgraded his security status after stepping back from his role as a "working royal."

During the opening of the three-day hearing in London, Prince Harry's lawyers argued that the decision-making process behind the security downgrade was unfair.

The Home Office responded by stating that security for Prince Harry would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The majority of these legal proceedings, focusing on security arrangements for prominent figures, will be conducted behind closed doors. Despite cameras gathering at the court entrance, Prince Harry did not attend the proceedings in person.

This legal dispute stems from changes implemented when Prince Harry stepped away from official royal duties and relocated to California in the United States.

The Ravec committee, responsible for security arrangements for the Royal Family and VIPs, decided in 2020 to alter Prince Harry's security level, aligning it with the risk perceived during his visits, a practice common with other high-profile visiting dignitaries.

Prince Harry's legal team argued that there was a lack of transparency in the decision-making process and asserted that the treatment he received was different from that of others.

His lawyers stated, "There is no justifiable reason for singling out the claimant [Prince Harry] in this manner."

Shaheed Fatima KC, Prince Harry's barrister, highlighted the importance of considering the impact of potential attacks, given Prince Harry's status, background, ongoing charity work, and lifelong ties to the royal family.

The Home Office's defense contended that Prince Harry's changed circumstances, including his non-working royal status and residence overseas, warranted a different approach to his security provision.

The court was informed that while security would be provided to Prince Harry, it would be customized and reflective of the specific risks associated with him.

Earlier discussions in court also involved claims of procedural unfairness due to the involvement of senior members of the Royal Household, including Sir Edward Young, in the Ravec committee.

Prince Harry's legal team highlighted tensions between Sir Edward and the prince, suggesting that this royal official should not have participated in the decision-making process.

Prince Harry emphasized that the reduced security measures made it challenging for him to bring his family to the UK.

The Home Office's lawyers consistently rebuffed challenges to the Ravec ruling, asserting that the claims presented were unlikely to change the decision.

The judge is expected to reserve judgment for a later date. This legal battle follows Prince Harry's earlier unsuccessful attempt to privately finance police protection during his visits to the UK. Photo by DoD News Features, Wikimedia commons.