The High Court has delivered its verdict on whether Prince Harry can bring a second legal challenge against the Home Office over his security arrangements when in the UK.
Princess Anne has a “soft spot” for her nephew Prince Harry which could be key to fixing relationships within the Royal Family, it has been claimed. The pair had a surprisingly warm exchange during King Charles’s Coronation as they were pictured chatting and laughing ahead of the ceremony in Westminster Abbey. In a comment piece for the Mail, Kate Mansey said the pair “have more in common than people might realise” which could mean Anne is called upon to “build a bridge between father and son”.
In a ruling on Tuesday, Mr Justice Chamberlain refused Harry permission to bring the second challenge, rejecting on a number of grounds.
The fifth in line to the throne lost his automatic right to police protection when he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family and moved to the US.
In December 2021, Harry was told by the RAVEC committee, which organises security for royals and public figures and operates under the Home Office, that he would not be able to pay the police to protect him. He was told that officers were not “guns for hire”.
Harry was granted permission in July last year to bring a judicial review over that decision, though a full hearing is yet to be held. But he is now seeking a second challenge, which was brought before the High Court earlier this month.
At the hearing, a judge was asked by Harry’s legal team to allow the duke to bring a case over decisions taken by the Home Office and the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) – which falls under the remit of the department – in December 2021 and February 2022.
The Home Office, opposing Harry’s claim, said Ravec considered it was “not appropriate” for wealthy people to “buy” protective security, which might include armed officers, when it had decided that “the public interest does not warrant” someone receiving such protection on a publicly funded basis.
But his lawyers argued that Ravec – whose membership includes senior Home Office officials, senior officers of the Met Police and senior officials of the royal household – had overstepped the mark.
“Ravec has exceeded its authority, its power, because it doesn’t have the power to make this decision in the first place,” they told the court.
Shaheed Fatima KC, representing Harry, had told the court Ravec’s decision was inconsistent with legislation that gives power to the chief officer of police to decide that “special police services” can be privately paid for by an individual.
She noted that football clubs and music festivals often fund a police presence at their events.
Ms Fatima also argued that Ravec’s decision was “unreasonable” and that the Duke was not given any opportunity to make representations to the committee.
The Home Office had objected to the points raised, with its lawyers urging the court to uphold the judge’s original decision and throw out Harry’s case.
In his ruling on Tuesday, Mr Justice Chamberlain said: “In my judgment, the short answer to this point is that Ravec did not say that it would be contrary to the public interest to allow wealthy individuals to pay for any police services.
“It can be taken to have understood that s. 25(1) (of the Police Act 1996), to which it referred, expressly envisages payment for some such services. Its reasoning was narrowly confined to the protective security services that fall within its remit.
“Those services are different in kind from the police services provided at, for example, sporting or entertainment events, because they involve the deployment of highly trained specialist officers, of whom there are a limited number, and who are required to put themselves in harm’s way to protect their principals.
“Ravec’s reasoning was that there are policy reasons why those services should not be made available for payment, even though others are. I can detect nothing that is arguably irrational in that reasoning.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK