Prince Harry Loses Legal Challenge Over Security Downgrade

Prince Harry lost a long-running legal battle over the downgrading of his security in Britain, as a High Court judge ruled on Wednesday that the British government was entitled to change the level of police protection for a member of the royal family who was no longer carrying out official duties.

In a 51-page ruling, the judge, Peter Lane, rejected Harry’s challenge to the decision, declaring that Britain’s Home Office, through its Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures, had not been procedurally unfair or irrational in changing his level of security.

It was a stinging setback for Harry, who has waged a series of legal battles on both his security and privacy. Earlier this month, he won at least 400,000 pounds ($506,000) in damages from the publisher of The Daily Mirror, a London tabloid, for “widespread and habitual” hacking of his cellphone voice mail.

Harry lost his automatic taxpayer-funded protection from the Metropolitan Police when he and his wife, Meghan, stepped back from royal duties in 2020, eventually relocating to Southern California. The prince has argued that he cannot safely visit Britain with his family without that higher level of protection. Last May, in a parallel legal case, he lost a bid to pay for police protection out of his own pocket.

In the United States, Harry and Meghan are protected by bodyguards who are licensed to carry weapons. But traveling in Britain poses a particular challenge because their private security guards are not allowed to carry guns.

The couple’s security came under a spotlight last year, when Harry and Meghan, along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, were swarmed by photographers after they left an award ceremony in Midtown Manhattan.

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