Prince Harry recently won permission to legally challenge a Government decision that denied him police protection while in Britain. The Duke of Sussex had received the full police protection generally given to royal figures before he decided to step back from his royal duties and move to the United States with his wife Meghan in 2020. The former bodyguard of Princess Diana Ken Wharfe has since claimed Harry still would have received some level of protection when visiting the UK.
Speaking to Palace Confidential on Mailplus, Mr Wharfe said: “I can understand [Harry’s battle to keep his Scotland Yard security].
“The very fact that he’s chosen a new life in America and is no longer effectively a working member of the British Royal Family and I think that is where the problem is.
“I think he feels that when he comes back to the United Kingdom with his wife and children then that deserves some sort of protection.
“I think where he’s lost it is that nobody has said he wouldn’t get protection, I don’t think he would be given the full package that other working members of the royal daily get but the British government together with the commissioner of the police would make sure that if such a journey was made then security would be given to him but not perhaps in the format he wished.”
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The Home Office decided in February that year that Harry would cease receiving personal police security while in Britain even if he were to cover the cost himself.
On Friday, a British High Court judge granted permission for part of Harry’s claim for a judicial review – a process where a judge examines the lawfulness of a public body’s decision.
Prince Harry’s lawyers – who have previously said in court that a member of the royal household was involved in the decision – were not immediately reachable for comment.
There have been signs of tensions between Harry and the royal family since at least 2019, when he and Meghan decided to set up their own household, breaking from the joint operation they had with Prince William and his wife Kate.
Harry and Meghan have relied on a private security team since moving to California, where they live with their two young children.
Harry’s lawyers, however, have said that private security arrangements did not give the prince the level of protection he needed while visiting Britain.
Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a Paris car crash while trying to escape paparazzi photographers, and the prince, also known as the Duke of Sussex, has expressed worries about “history repeating itself”, in an apparent reference to the 1997 tragedy.
Harry and Meghan have in recent years received critical coverage in parts of the British press, which he has described as “toxic”.
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Friday’s permission was granted on several different grounds although not on all of those the prince’s legal team had sought, a judgment published on the court’s website showed.
The court gave permission for the judicial review on the grounds that the prince should have been informed about the Home Office’s security policy before the decision to deny him police protection was made.
He should have had the chance to make his case to the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures, or RAVEC, the Home Office wing that made the decision, the judgement added.
No date was set for the judicial review.