The UK’s Royal Court Ruling: No Automatic Police Protection for Prince Harry

Prince Harry

This article was last updated on February 28, 2024

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A Case Settled: No Structural Police Protection Guaranteed for Prince Harry in the UK

The United Kingdom’ top court has spoken; Prince Harry is not entitled to state-funded police protection in the country. The court’s ruling, decided on Wednesday, rejected the Duke of Sussex’s appeal seeking assurances for himself and his family’s security during their stays in the UK. The decision indicates that being a royal does not automatically earn one the status of protective services.

The Entanglement Begins with Harry Claiming Unlawful Treatment

The battle over security started after police protection for the Duke was withdrawn. Describing the act as a breach of his rights, Prince Harry asserted he was being treated “unlawfully and unfairly.” He sought to argue that this decision unjustly exposed him and his family to potential security threats, leading to the pivotal appeal.

The Aftermath of Departing Royal Duties: Loss of Auto-Security Privilege

The implications of stepping away from royal duties have caught up with the Duke. With this ruling, Prince Harry will no longer be afforded the same level of security automatically granted to his days as an active royal member whenever he visits the UK. This is a result of the government’s measures following his decision to step back from his royal duties in 2020 and relocate with his family to the United States.

Future Stays in the UK; Security Situations May Vary

During the initial phase of the trial in December, the British government’s legal representative addressed Harry’s concerns over his safety in the UK. The counsel assured that the prince’s situation will be taken into account upon his visits. However, this would not mean that Harry would experience the “same treatment as if he still permanently resided in the United Kingdom.”

The Alternative: Prince Harry’s Offer to Fund His Security

In response to the security withdrawal, Prince Harry offered to independently fund his police protection. However, the British Foreign Office showed reservations about sharing sensitive intelligence information with private security firms engaged by the prince. With his security concern unresolved, the prince thus decided to undertake the legal action that led to this ruling.

In Conclusion

The UK’s Supreme Court judgment underscores the realities Prince Harry faces since stepping back from his royal duties and settling abroad. Although his willingness to finance his protection may speak volumes about his commitment to safety, the court’s ruling firmly states that his status as an expatriate changes his entitlement for state-funded protections. In light of such evolving dynamics within the royal landscape, it would be intriguing to see how this decision influences future interactions between the British monarchy and its non–resident members.

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