Prince Harry challenges UK government’s decision to strip him of security detail when he moved to US

by Michael Nguyen
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Prince Harry Security Challenge

Prince Harry’s legal battle against the British government over the removal of his security detail after he stepped back from his role as a working member of the royal family and relocated to the United States continues to unfold in London’s High Court. His attorney, Shaheed Fatima, has emphasized that the case revolves around the fundamental right to security and safety, which is of paramount importance to all individuals.

Fatima has argued that the evaluation of Harry’s security needs was flawed and unfair because it deviated from established policies that required a comprehensive risk analysis regarding his safety. The Duke of Sussex contends that he requires security protection when visiting his home country due to concerns about an intrusive and aggressive press, which poses a threat to both his safety and that of his family.

This legal battle is part of a series of cases that Prince Harry has pursued against the U.K. government and British tabloid media. Despite his efforts, a previous attempt to privately fund London’s police force for his security needs was rejected by a judge who argued against using officers as “private bodyguards for the wealthy.”

The Prince’s unease with the media dates back to the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana, who was involved in a fatal car accident while trying to escape relentless paparazzi pursuit in Paris. Harry, who is married to former actor Meghan Markle, has also cited racial bias and intrusive media coverage as factors that influenced his decision to leave the United Kingdom.

In this specific case, Prince Harry challenges the decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures to provide his security on a “case by case” basis following his relocation to Canada and then California in 2020. He argues that the committee made its decision without granting him a personal hearing and failed to disclose the composition of the panel, which he later discovered included royal family staff. Notably, he raised concerns about Edward Young’s involvement on the committee, given alleged tensions between the two men.

The Home Office, on the other hand, has maintained that any tensions between Harry and royal household staff are irrelevant to the committee’s decision, as he had relinquished his working role within the family.

In addition to this case, Prince Harry has four other ongoing lawsuits in the High Court, including one against the publisher of the Daily Mail, alleging libel. These legal battles represent his ongoing efforts to address issues related to his personal safety, privacy, and relationship with the media. A ruling on one of these cases is expected in the near future, while the others involve allegations of unlawful journalistic practices such as deception, phone hacking, and hiring private investigators to gather information about him.

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