Prince Harry Wins Legal Right to Challenge Removal of His U.K. Government Security

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the United Nations Headquarters on July 18, 2022 in New York City. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is the keynote speaker during the United Nations General assembly to mark the observance of Nelson Mandela International Day where the 2020 U.N. Nelson Mandela Prize will be awarded to Mrs. Marianna Vardinogiannis of Greece and Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté of Guinea.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the United Nations Headquarters on July 18, 2022 in New York City. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is the keynote speaker during the United Nations General assembly to mark the observance of Nelson Mandela International Day where the 2020 U.N. Nelson Mandela Prize will be awarded to Mrs. Marianna Vardinogiannis of Greece and Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté of Guinea.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry has won the right to challenge the status of the U.K. security arrangements put in place following his decision to step back from frontline royal duties.

The ruling follows a February 2020 decision by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC) to remove Harry's automatic right to U.K. police security after his bombshell January 2020 announcement.

On Friday, Judge Jonathan Swift granted the Duke of Sussex, 37, "Permission to apply for judicial review" over the RAVEC decision in legal papers obtained by PEOPLE.

The decision means that the legal action will now proceed to a full hearing at the High Court in London between Harry and the U.K. government — an unprecedented situation in modern times.

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Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the National Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen's reign at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London on June 3, 2022 as part of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations. - Queen Elizabeth II kicked off the first of four days of celebrations marking her record-breaking 70 years on the throne, to cheering crowds of tens of thousands of people. But the 96-year-old sovereign's appearance at the Platinum Jubilee -- a milestone never previously reached by a British monarch -- took its toll, forcing her to pull out of a planned church service. (Photo by Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP) (Photo by AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the National Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen's reign at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London on June 3, 2022 as part of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations. - Queen Elizabeth II kicked off the first of four days of celebrations marking her record-breaking 70 years on the throne, to cheering crowds of tens of thousands of people. But the 96-year-old sovereign's appearance at the Platinum Jubilee -- a milestone never previously reached by a British monarch -- took its toll, forcing her to pull out of a planned church service. (Photo by Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP) (Photo by AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

AARON CHOWN/getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in London

On July 7, the High Court heard that Harry and wife Meghan Markle's security has been dealt with on a "flexible, case-by-case" basis since they made their decision to step back.

Harry's legal team has previously stated that Harry "does not feel safe" bringing children Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, to the U.K. under this arrangement because his U.S. security team does not have jurisdiction in the U.K. or access to U.K. government intelligence.

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Speaking in court on July 9, his attorney Shaheed Fatima stated that "what flexible sometimes means is no security."

In reply, U.K. government attorney Sir James Eadie QC said that RAVEC was forced to reassess Harry's security following his decision to step back with Meghan, 40, and based its decision on the core principle of "whether the security should be automatic" because of the change in their circumstances.

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, delivers the keynote address during the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the United Nations in New York on July 18, 2022. - The Prize is being awarded to Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece and Doctor Morissanda Kouyate of Guinea.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, delivers the keynote address during the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the United Nations in New York on July 18, 2022. - The Prize is being awarded to Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece and Doctor Morissanda Kouyate of Guinea.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Prince Harry speaks at the United Nations in New York

Eadie added that the whole thing was "purely a matter of judgment for RAVEC" and that Harry "should not be able to simply demand security," because he is the Queen's grandson.

The U.K. government also refused Prince Harry's offer to pay for Scotland Yard security for his family whenever they visit the UK, the court heard.

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"Police are actively putting themselves at risk in the public interest," added Eadie.

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The U.K. government now has 56 days to file papers relating to the case. A date for the hearing has yet to be finalized.

The legal decision comes a day after a U.K. court ruled that the BBC pay Harry and Prince William's former nanny 'substantial' damages over "totally unfounded allegations" made about her by disgraced journalist Martin Bashir to secure a 1995 interview with Princess Diana.

Tiggy Legge-Bourke (now known as Alexandra Pettifer), who was employed as a nanny to William and Harry in the '90s, also received an apology, the BBC reported Thursday.