Prince Harry could sue the British government over his security arrangements in the UK, a judge in London ruled Friday.
Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, lost publicly funded British police protection when they quit as senior working royals and moved to North America in 2020. The prince is willing to personally pay for police security when he comes to Britain and is challenging the government’s refusal to allow it.
Judge Jonathan Swift ruled Friday that the case could move to a full hearing at the High Court in London. He declined some aspects of the challenge, but said some grounds “raise a moot point” worthy of a hearing.
The judge said, “a conclusion at the consent stage that a case is disputable is some distance from a conclusion that the case will succeed at the final hearing.”
No date has been set for the case to be heard.
Harry and former actress Markle married at Windsor Castle in 2019, but dropped out as working royals the following year, citing what they described as excruciating breaches and racist attitudes from the British media.
Harry’s lawyers have said the prince is reluctant to bring the couple’s children – Archie, 3, and 1-year-old Lilibet – to his homeland because it is not safe.
Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, wants to be able to pay for the protection because his private security team in the US has insufficient jurisdiction abroad or has no access to information from British intelligence services.
His lawyers also say a February 2020 decision by the Executive Committee on the Protection of Royalties and Public Figures, removing his complete royal security, was unreasonable because Harry was not allowed to make “advanced statements”.
The British government says the commission’s decision was reasonable and it is not possible to pay privately for police protection.