The Duke of Sussex’s lawyer appeared in court on Thursday to apply for a judicial review over a government decision that stripped him of publicly-funded police protection while in the UK.
According to court documents obtained by Insider, Prince Harry’s lawyer argued during the hearing at London’s High Court that the decision was unfair because the Queen’s private secretary and most senior aide, Edward Young, had been involved — despite the prince being told it would be up to an independent committee.
Harry’s team also referenced tensions between the duke and Young.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave up their right to taxpayer-funded security when they stepped back from royal duties in the spring of 2020. According to a statement obtained by Insider in January, Harry previously offered to pay for police protection with his own funds but was “dismissed.”
The Sussexes returned to the UK for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June with their children, Archie and Lilibet, after Harry said security issues could prevent the trip from taking place.
Harry’s lawyer said it’s unfair that he wasn’t aware the Queen’s aide was involved in the decision
In court on Thursday, Shaheed Fatima QC, representing the duke, argued that the decision to downgrade Harry’s security was unfair because Young had been involved in the committee that made the decision, according to court documents.
The Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures, also known as Ravec, is responsible for security decisions regarding the royal family and key public figures. Its members include the UK’s Home Office, Metropolitan Police, and the Royal Household, who work together to advise the independent Chair in decision-making.
“He didn’t know at that stage that the Royal Household was involved at all,” Fatima said in court, according to BBC News.
In a skeleton argument obtained by Insider, Harry’s legal team wrote that the prince was “not informed about the composition of Ravec,” and that he had been told it was an independent committee. His legal team added in the skeleton argument that he was therefore denied the opportunity to “comment on the appropriateness” of “certain individuals” being involved in the decision-making process.
Harry’s offer to pay for his own security earlier this year was made to several members of the royal household, including Young and Prince Charles’ private secretary Clive Alderton, but was not passed on to the committee, the duke’s legal team wrote in the skeleton argument.
In court documents, legal representatives for the Home Office wrote that Ravec never received an offer to fund security from the prince, and that the committee would have “rejected any such offer as a matter of principle.”
Harry’s team referenced ‘significant tensions’ between the duke and the Queen’s aide
The skeleton argument went on to reference tensions between Harry and Young. The document states that Harry’s belief that the committee’s decision was made independently is relevant in light of “significant tensions” between the prince and Young.
No specifics were read out in court as sensitive information was kept out of public hearing, BBC News reports.
According to court documents, legal representatives for the Home Office said in a written statement that personal tensions between Harry and royal officials are “irrelevant” to his change in status after his step back from royal duties. They added that there was “no basis” to conclude that the duke making representations to the committee would have resulted in a different outcome.
A decision regarding whether Harry has an arguable case will be made in the coming weeks, BBC News reports. The duke’s legal team has indicated that a second judicial review claim into whether he should be able to pay privately for police protection has been launched, the outlet added.
“The UK Government’s protective security system is rigorous and proportionate,” a UK Government spokesperson told Insider. “It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements, as doing so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals’ security.”
The spokesperson added that “it would not be appropriate to comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”
Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Representatives for Shaheed Fatima QC declined to comment.
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