Prince Harry Can’t Pay for His Own Police Protection in England, Court Rules

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It’s time for Prince Harry to begin seeking other security arrangements. A High Court judge in London ruled on Tuesday that the royal will not be granted permission to challenge the British government’s decision to bar him from hiring his own police protection for the time he spends in England, according to Associated Press. Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, were stripped of their official security detail after stepping away from their royal duties and moving to California in 2020.

The denial came after lawyers for Prince Harry attempted to build a compelling case around the interpretation of the Police Act 1996, a section of which states that the “chief officer of the police” is at liberty to provide special police services “subject to payment.” In response, representatives for the British government stated: “There is no legal authority for the proposition that the concept of ‘special police services’ encompasses the use of police officers as private bodyguards for the wealthy.”

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Prince Harry’s lawyers unsuccessfully argued that the decision was unlawful.

Despite no longer carrying any official royal duties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to be a target of rampant paparazzi in both England and America. Last week, the couple was involved in what they described as a “near catastrophic” car chase with paparazzi in New York.

“On Tuesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” Julian Phillips, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, told Rolling Stone in a statement. “There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination, and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”

The request for a judicial review of the decision to deny police protection was first launched in January 2022. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the U.K. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home,” a representative for Prince Harry wrote at the time, according to the Guardian.

The statement continued: “The Duke first offered to pay personally for U.K. police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham. That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer. As is widely known, others who have left public office and have an inherent threat risk receive police protection at no cost to them.”

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