Prince Harry seeks to challenge denial of request to pay for own UK police protection

LONDON (AP) — A lawyer for Prince Harry argued in a London court Tuesday that he should be allowed to challenge a government decision that denied him the right to pay for police protection when he visits the U.K.

The case is one of six the Duke of Sussex has pending in court that center around two issues: his security and claims that British tabloids hacked his phone and unlawfully obtained other information about him.

His high-profile phone hacking trial against the publisher of the Daily Mirror is underway before a different High Court judge.

The hearing in the security case centered around Harry's claim that he doesn't feel safe bringing his young children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, nearly 2, from the U.S. to visit his home country without a police security detail.

A spokesperson for the prince has said his U.S. security team doesn’t have jurisdiction abroad or access to intelligence in the U.K..

The British government stopped providing security for Harry after he and his wife, Meghan, quit their royal duties and moved to California in 2020. Harry has a separate legal case challenging the decision to deny providing him security in the U.K.

Harry's lawyer asked a judge to allow the duke to bring a legal case against the Home Office and the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures for denying him the right to personally pay for his security.

Attorney Shaheed Fatima argued the committee, which includes members from London's Metropolitan Police department, the Home Office and Buckingham Palace, exceeded its authority and its denial was inconsistent with legislation that allows a police chief to provide special police services for payment.

"Parliament has clearly decided that in principle, payment for policing is not inconsistent with the public interest,” Fatima wrote.

The government's lawyer, Robert Palmer, said reimbursing police for security at special events such as a marathon, soccer matches and celebrity weddings was not the same as using “police officers as private bodyguards for the wealthy.”

Palmer said the denial was within the authority of the committee and set a policy position.

The judge is expected to rule later.