Prince Harry has lost a legal challenge to his request to be allowed to make private payments for police protection.
His lawyers sought a judicial review of the rejection of his offer to pay for protection in the UK, after his security arrangements changed when the prince ceased to be a ‘royal employee’.
But the judge decided not to give the green light to such a hearing.
Home Office lawyers had opposed the idea of allowing wealthy people to ‘buy’ police security.
The decision follows a day-long hearing in London last week.
Since then, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been involved in what their spokesperson described as a “near catastrophic chase” involving the paparazzi in New York.
But in the High Court last week, Prince Harry’s lawyers challenged the decision to deny him private funding for police protection for him and his family during his visit to the UK.
When Prince Harry stopped being an “acting monarch” in 2020, it meant he no longer had access to his former level of security.
But Prince Harry disputed the way the decision was made by the Executive Committee for the Protection of the Crown and Public Figures – known as Ravec – which deals with the security of celebrities, including members of the royal family.
“Ravec overruled his authority, his authority, because he doesn’t have the ability to make that decision in the first place,” Prince Harry’s lawyers told the court.
They argued that there were clauses in the law allowing for the payment of “special police services” and that, therefore, “the payment of police services is incompatible with the public interest or public confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service”.
But Home Office lawyers said the type of security being discussed, which could mean ‘special officers as bodyguards’, was not the same as funding extra police for football matches.
A lawyer for the Metropolitan Police has argued that it would be unwise to put officers at risk because of “fee and individual payments”.
The Home Office’s legal team said Ravec’s committee unanimously rejected the offer of a private payment and it was a matter of policy to oppose the idea that “a rich person should be allowed to ‘buy’ a security deposit.
The Home Office said the Ravec Committee was under no obligation to allow Prince Harry to represent them and that the decision could not be overturned.
“Given the nature of the arguments now being made by the complainant, the court can be confident that such representations would not have made any difference in any event,” Home Office lawyers told the court.
Last July, Prince Harry managed to get the green light for a legal review of the decision-making process on his security, which has not yet been heard.
But for now he has failed in his challenge to pay personal defense costs, which he previously said were not binding on the taxpayer.