Prince Harry files his second lawsuit against UK government and Scotland Yard over decision to ban him from paying for police protection in Britain
- Harry already suing Home Office for removing his taxpayer-funded protection
- Now the duke has filed a second lawsuit against Home Office and Scotland Yard
- ‘It is at an early stage and no hearings have been listed yet,’ judicial office said
Prince Harry has filed a second lawsuit against the British government and Scotland Yard over the decision not to allow him to pay for police protection when he visits from California.
The Duke of Sussex is already suing the Home Office over its decision in 2020 to remove his taxpayer-funded protection, which he says makes it unsafe for him to come to Britain with his wife, Meghan Markle, and two children, Archie and Lilibet.
Now he has filed a second lawsuit against the Home Office which also names the Metropolitan Police, the High Court confirmed to MailOnline.
The Duke of Sussex has begun a second court case against the Home Office over its decision in 2020 to remove his taxpayer-funded protection
‘It is at an early stage, no hearings have been listed yet and no decisions have been made,’ the Judicial Office added.
The new case will focus on a decision in January by the Royalty and VIP Executive Committee (RAVEC), which concluded that private individuals should not be allowed to pay for police to protect them.
The revelation of a second court case – which emerged on Meghan’s birthday – threatens to raise tensions with the Royal Family due to claims that the Queen’s Private Secretary, Sir Edward Young, was involved in the decision to deny Harry protection.
‘Significant tensions’ are said to have existed between the Duke of Sussex Sir Edward, according to the prince’s legal team.
Today’s news is also likely to dismay the government, which has spent £100,000 on its legal battle so far, according to a report last week.
The Duke, 37, has been taking legal action against the department after being told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from the US.
His representatives have previously told of how he wants to bring his family to visit from the US, but that they are ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is too dangerous.
The case is understood to have cost the Home Office £90,094.79 from September 2021 and May earlier this year.
The new case has been filed against the Home Office, while it also names the Metropolitan Police, the High Court confirmed
That sum is understood to include £55,254 on the government’s Legal Department, £34,824 on counsel and £16.55 on couriers, The Sun reports.
Two hearings have taken place at the High Court in London since May, so it is predicted that the total bill will surpass £100,000. And that figure will rise further after a judge granted Harry’s legal team permission for part of his claim to have a judicial review into the Home Office’s decision.
The cost to the taxpayer would be reduced if the Home Office is awarded its costs back by the court and the Whitehall department run by Priti Patel has already said it will demand their legal costs back from Harry if his High Court battle fails.
MailOnline has contacted Schillings, the Duke of Sussex’s UK lawyers, the Met and the Home Office for comment.
What is Harry’s concern with UK security and why is he taking legal action?
Are Harry and his family covered by security arrangements currently?
He and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, personally fund a private protection team in the US for their family.
The Sussexes have signed multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, with Harry telling Oprah Winfrey he secured these to pay for his security.
But he and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in the UK in the aftermath of quitting as senior working royals.
Why did they lose their taxpayer-funded security?
Their security provision was one of the key issues when the couple announced they wanted to step down in 2020.
Speaking to Winfrey during the couple’s sit-down interview in 2021, Harry said he was told that ‘due to our change of status – we would no longer be ‘official’ members of the royal family’.
He said he had been shocked by this and ‘pushed back’ on the issue, arguing that there had been no change of threat or risk to the couple.
Meghan, during the same interview, told how she had written to her husband’s family urging them not to ‘pull his security’, but had been told ‘it’s just not possible’.
At the time of announcing their stepping back from royal life in 2020, their website suggested the Home Office, through the Metropolitan Police, should continue to provide protection for the couple and Archie, their only child at the time.
Have they offered to pay for police protection in the UK themselves?
Yes. Harry wants to fund the security himself, rather than ask taxpayers to foot the bill, his legal representative said.
He first offered to personally pay for police protection in the UK for himself and his family during the so-called Sandringham summit in January 2020, but the legal representative said that offer ‘was dismissed’.
The representative added that Harry ‘remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer’.
Can they use the same security team they have while in the US?
Harry’s legal representative said that while the couple personally fund a private security team for their family, ‘that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK’.
His argument is that the US team does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information which is needed to keep the Sussex family safe.
What threats do the couple see themselves as facing in the UK?
In a statement, the legal representative said: ‘He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats. While his role within the Institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.’
Will the couple return to the UK if the issue is not resolved in the way they would like?
A spokesperson for the duke has said that, in the absence of what they consider to be the necessary protection, ‘Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home’.
They insisted the UK ‘will always be Prince Harry’s home’, adding that it is ‘a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in’.
But they added: ‘With the lack of police protection, comes too great a personal risk.’
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