Prince Harry ‘could face bill of over £1m in security funding court fight’

Harry faces hefty fee

Prince Harry could reportedly face a bill of more than £1 million over his security funding court fight.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, has been fighting the 2020 decision to downgrade his taxpayer funded, round-the-clock protection when he quit senior royal duties with his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 42, to move to America.

But it emerged on Monday (15.04.24) the dad-of-two – who has children Archie, four, and two-year-old Lilibet with Meghan – had lost his initial bid to appeal against the move.

He is still able to ask the Court of Appeal directly for the green light to challenge Sir Peter's decision – but has been told to pay the majority of the UK Home Office’s legal costs of defending his challenge over the decision to change the level of his security when he visits the UK.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that by October 2023, the government’s legal costs to defend itself against Harry in the case had reached the £400,000-plus mark.

By that point, the case had already cost the government legal department £265,437 and counsel £137,864.

The Daily Star has reported it means Harry now faces having to pay back the taxpayer at least £500,000 after losing his challenge.

It said his own legal costs are likely to be similar, if not more, than that sum, meaning he could end up with a bill of more than £1 million so far in his court fight.

Harry launched legal action against the Home Office over the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) that he should receive a different degree of taxpayer-funded protection when in the country.

Ravec’s decision came as a result of a change in his status after he stopped being a “full-time working member of the royal family”, a judge was told.

In a judgment in February, retired High Court justice Sir Peter Lane rejected Harry’s case and concluded Ravec’s approach was not irrational or procedurally unfair.

Following the ruling, a spokesperson for the duke said he was going to challenge the judgment, adding the bloke “hopes he will obtain justice from the Court of Appeal”.

Harry argued he was “singled out” and treated “less favourably” than others by Ravec.

He has previously asked to fund his own Metropolitan Police armed bodyguards but officials refused.

Harry has also said he was unable to return to the UK with his family as it was “too dangerous” after his security was downgraded.

He is allowed protection when he stays at royal residences or attends official events run by the Royal Family, but has to fund his security if visiting Britain for other reasons.

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