Prince Harry loses bid to personally pay for police security while visiting U.K.

FILE - Britain's Prince Harry arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Thursday, March 30, 2023. Kirsty Wigglesworth / The Associated Press

Prince Harry has lost out on his bid to bring a legal challenge against the British government after it refused to allow him to pay for police security when visiting Britain.

A London judge ruled against the prince Tuesday, saying he would not give Harry permission to seek a judicial review of the decision to strip him of police protection. It would have been the second challenge the Duke of Sussex brought forward relating to his security arrangements, arguing that the British government exceeded its authority when it denied him the right to hire police.

In written submissions to the High Court, the U.K.’s Home Office argued that the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) “considered that it was not appropriate to support an outcome whereby wealthy individuals could ‘buy’ Protective Security from specialist police officers (potentially including armed officers), in circumstances where RAVEC has determined that the public interest does not warrant that individual receiving such Protective Security on a publicly-funded basis.”

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leaves the Royal Courts of Justice on March 28, 2023, in London, England. Getty Images

The British government stopped providing security after Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, quit their royal duties and moved to California in 2020.

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Harry has said he doesn’t feel safe visiting Britain with his young children, and has cited aggressive press photographers.

In 2021, Harry’s lawyer told NBC News in a statement that Harry wished to bring his kids to the U.K. so they can “know his home country,” but it is too risky without proper protection.

The statement also said the prince’s security was “compromised due to the absence of police protection” during a visit to the U.K. to unveil a statue in honour of his late mother, Princess Diana.

Britain’s Prince William, left, and Prince Harry unveil a statue they commissioned of their mother Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, Thursday, July 1, 2021. Dominic Lipinski / Pool Photo via AP

This most recent case was argued last week on the same day Harry and Meghan sought cover from paparazzi in a New York police station after a spokesperson said they had been involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” with photographers after a gala event.

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No one was injured and no citations given, but police said photographers made it challenging for the couple to get where they were going.

Harry is separately challenging the decision to deny him government-paid security. That lawsuit is the only one of five active legal cases he has in London courts that is not against British tabloid publishers over allegations of libel or phone hacking.

He is due to testify next month in an ongoing trial against the publisher of the Daily Mirror over allegations it used illegal means to gather material for dozens of articles about the duke, dating back as far as the 1990s.

With files from The Associated Press

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