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Prince Harry Loses Legal Challenge Over Personal Security Downgrade. What to Know

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Updated: | Originally published:

Prince Harry has lost a high court challenge against the British government regarding a 2020 decision by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) to downgrade the level of personal security he receives when visiting the U.K.

The decision meant that Harry received a lower level of taxpayer-funded protection than other royals after he and his wife Meghan Markle transitioned out of their roles as “senior members” of the royal family.

Harry’s lawyers challenged Ravec’s initial decision, arguing that it was “unlawful and unfair” and warned that a “successful attack” on Prince Harry could have an impact on the U.K.’s reputation.

Retired High Court judge Sir Peter Lane said, in heavily-redacted court documents, that Harry’s lawyers had “an inappropriate, formalist interpretation of the Ravec process” and that the decision made in 2020 was “legally sound.”

In December, when the Duke of Sussex’s claim was first heard, Home Office lawyers said that Harry could still have access to some taxpayer-funded security provisions but that these would be “bespoke arrangements” as opposed to automatically provided security detail.

Harry and his lawyers argued that this reduced level of security would make it difficult for him to ensure his and his family’s safety should they visit the U.K. Harry and Meghan share two children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2.

Harry’s legal team have said they will appeal the ruling. “The Duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of Ravec’s own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others in accordance with Ravec’s own written policy,” a legal spokesperson for Harry said in a statement, per the BBC.

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