Prince Harry loses High Court challenge over UK security levels, says he will appeal decision

US

Prince Harry has lost a High Court challenge against a British government decision to downgrade his security status after he stepped back from royal family duties. The Duke of Sussex contested the Home Office after it decided in Feb. 2020 that Harry would no longer be given the “same degree” of protection when in the UK. During a hearing in Dec., lawyers for Harry argued the decision meant he was “singled out” and treated “less [favorably],” British news agency PA Media reported. His lawyers reportedly cited a failure to consider the impact on the UK’s reputation of a “successful attack” on Harry, who has lived with his wife Meghan Markle in California since July 2020 after they quit their royal roles.

The court ultimately ruled that the decision was “not marred by procedural unfairness.” A spokesperson for Harry said the Duke of Sussex will appeal.

“The duke is not asking for preferential treatment,” Harry’s lawyers said, per BBC. They also argued that the final decisions made about his protection levels were ultimately unfair.    

On Wednesday, documents related to the judgment in Harry’s recent lawsuit were released, including a letter from the New York City Police Department to the Metropolitan Police in London. The letter, dated Dec. 6, 2023, from the NYPD’s Chief of Intelligence said an investigation found “reckless” behavior by paparazzi when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, left the Ms. Foundation 2023 Women of Vision Awards on May 16. Following the awards, a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan told PEOPLE that the trio were “involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi.” The pursuit lasted over two hours and resulted in “multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.”    

At this time, no arrests have been made in connection with the incident. The NYPD said there would be changes in security measures for Harry and Meghan on future visits to the city.

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