Prince Harry has insisted that the UK “will always be his home” as his legal claim against the Home Office was brought to the High Court this morning.
The Duke of Sussex has applied for a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family when they are in the UK, a legal representative has said.
He wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, a legal representative previously said.
It is thought to be the first time a member of the royal family has brought a case against Her Majesty’s Government.
Instead of asking taxpayers to foot the expense, Prince Harry, who is not in court this morning, wants to fund the security himself.
“This claim is about the fact that the claimant does not feel comfortable when he is in the UK given the security arrangements that were imposed to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him,” said Shaheed Fatima QC, representing the Duke, in introducing the case this morning.
“It goes without saying that he wants to return to see family and friends and to continue to support the causes that are so dear to his heart,” she added.
Mr Justice Swift stated that today’s proceedings would not be the primary hearing of the Duke’s claim, but would instead focus on which sections of the court records would be kept secret and which would be made public.
During the preliminary hearing, the court heard an application from both parties to keep some court papers in the case confidential.
The judge stated that a portion of Friday’s hearing would be held in secret, and that if it was not, it would “undermine” the application’s aims “before I’ve had the opportunity to assess whether it should succeed or fail.”
Later, the judge stated that he would not be giving his decision on Friday, but rather in writing at a later date.
He went on to say, “Part of that decision may need to be confidential, and if so, that part of the judgement will not be made public.”
“My reasoning for any findings I make today will be made public,” the judge stated.
Last month, the Duke of Sussex’s attorneys sent a “pre-action protocol” letter to the Home Office.
It was stated that they would seek a judicial review if the UK did not offer continuing security when he and his family visited.
The Queen was claimed to have been informed of Harry’s intention to send the letter ahead of time.
When Prince Harry returned to the UK in the summer for the inauguration of a statue of his mother, Princess Diana, he was alleged to be dissatisfied with how his security was handled.
When Harry came in April for his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral, he was received on the tarmac at Heathrow Airport by Scotland Yard security personnel.
But when he returned in July, it is believed that was not the case, and it is believed Harry’s car was pursued by photographers as he drove away.
Today’s court hearing comes months before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and it’s unclear whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s return has been called into question because to security concerns, despite the fact that they gave up some rights by stepping down as working royals.
If they do, it will be the Queen’s first meeting with the couple’s second child, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry revealed their decision to leave the royal family in early 2020 and relocate to California.
The couple has a boy, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, born in the United Kingdom in May 2019, and a daughter, born in the United States in June 2021.
The hearing before Mr. Justice Swift, which is slated to last two hours, is continuing.