Prince Harry has insisted in court documents that he didn’t know members of the royal household were involved in the decision to strip him of his permanent security team.
In February 2020, the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (known as Ravec) confirmed that Harry, his wife Meghan Markle, and their children Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, would no longer automatically get police protection when visiting the U.K.
Harry, who filed a claim requesting a judicial review of the Home Office’s decision to not allow him to personally pay for police protection back in January, previously said that he wanted to return home but that it was too dangerous without security.
In a court hearing Thursday, Harry and his team insisted that he should have been made aware that some of the Queen’s aides were involved in the decision making, the Independent reported.
According to the paper, legal docs suggested there were “significant” tensions between Harry and the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Edward Young.
Shaheed Fatima QC told the court on behalf of Harry on Thursday, “He should have been told so he could have considered things properly and made representations.
“If there had been a fair process, Ravec would or could have reached a different decision…. The role of the royal household as equal partner in the process was inappropriate.”
Sir James Eadie QC, representing the Home Office, told the court: “He [Prince Harry] knew that his security status was being reviewed on the basis of whether automatic provision should continue, as he would cease to be a working royal, and that was plenty enough to enable anything he wanted to say about that to be said.
“No one was saying ‘You are not going to get security,’ the question was on what basis — is it going to be flexible or is it going to be automatic.”
Sir James insisted Ravec changed Harry’s security from a permanent to a “case-by-case” basis, as he wouldn’t be attending official engagements and would instead primarily be a “private citizen, living abroad.”
He pointed out that despite Harry’s public figure status, he would no longer be attending events in the U.K. “as a representative for the Queen.”
Harry’s attorney told the hearing that he’d offered to cover the costs of police protection, but Ravec refused in January.
Sir James insisted there was “nothing unlawful about the later decision that individuals shouldn’t be permitted to simply demand security through payment for the police.”
“I am not making a decision on where the claim succeeds or fails, I am deciding if it is arguable,” Mr. Justice Swift told the court.