The Duke of Sussex, 37, has applied for a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family when they are in the UK
Image: Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Prince Harry has insisted that the UK “will always be his home” as his legal claim against the Home Office was brought to the High Court this morning.
The Duke of Sussex has applied for a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family when they are in the UK, a legal representative has said.
He wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, a legal representative previously said.
It is thought to be the first time a member of the royal family has brought a case against Her Majesty’s Government.
Prince Harry – who is not in court this morning – wants to fund the security himself instead of asking taxpayers to foot the bill.
Introducing the case this morning, Shaheed Fatima QC, for the Duke, said: “This claim is about the fact that the claimant does not feel safe when he is in the UK given the security arrangements applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him.”
She continued: “It goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart.
“Most of all, this is and always will be, his home.”
Mr Justice Swift said today’s proceedings were not the main hearing of the Duke’s claim and that it would focus on which parts of the court documents will remain private and which will be made public.
At the preliminary hearing, the court heard an application by both sides for some parts of the court documents in the case to be kept private.
The judge said part of Friday’s hearing would be heard in private, adding that if it was not it would “destroy” the purposes of the application “before I’ve had the opportunity to decide whether it should succeed or fail.”
The judge later said he would not be issuing his judgment on Friday, but instead in writing at a later date.
He added: “Part of that judgment may need to be confidential and if so that part of the judgment will not be made publicly available.
The judge said: “My reasons for whatever conclusions I reach today will be made public.”
Last month, lawyers acting for the Duke of Sussex have written a “pre-action protocol” letter to the Home Office.
It revealed that they would seek a judicial review if continued security is not provided by the UK, when he and his family visit.
The Queen was said to have been notified in advance of Harry’s plan to send the letter.
Prince Harry was to said to have been unhappy with how his security was dealt with in the summer when he returned to the UK for the unveiling of a statue of his mother, Princess Diana.
When Harry arrived in April for the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip, Harry was met on the tarmac at Heathrow Airport by Scotland Yard protection officers.
But when he came back again in July, it is thought that it was not the case, and it is understood Harry’s car was chased by photographers as he left.
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Today’s court hearing comes months before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee where it remains to be seen if the Duke and Duchess and Sussex will be coming for the celebrations.
There has been much doubt whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would return due to issues over security – having forgone some privileges on stepping down as working royals.
If they do, it would be the first time the Queen will meet the couple’s second child Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
In early 2020 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their decision to step back from the royal family and now live in California.
The pair have a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born in the UK in May 2019, and a daughter who was born in the USA in June 2021.
The hearing in front of Mr Justice Swift, which is expected to last two hours, continues.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.