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Prince Harry’s security case to be heard behind closed doors

Prince Harry, pictured outside the High Court in June
Prince Harry, pictured outside the High Court in June - Neil Mockford/GC Images

The Duke of Sussex’s High Court security claim will mostly be heard behind closed doors amid privacy concerns, it has emerged.

Prince Harry is expected to argue on Tuesday that he was treated unfairly by the Home Office when he was denied the right to automatic police protection in the UK.

The claim will be heard before Mr Justice Lane after he won the right to challenge the Government’s decision.

However, a privacy order has been issued over concerns that a vast amount of evidential material cannot enter the public domain ensuring the majority of the three-day hearing will be heard in private.

The judge said that having read both parties’ skeleton arguments, it was apparent that “the material that needs to be protected in the interests of justice is very tightly entangled with less sensitive details required for the court to properly determine the claim.”

He added: “This means that the bulk of the hearing must be in private.”

‘Continuing tensions’

Much of the information relied upon in the case concerns security arrangements put in place for Prince Harry, as well as other public figures.

Such material usually remains confidential so that it is not compromised.

The hearing comes amid continuing tensions in the Royal family after it emerged that the King and the Princess of Wales had been accused of commenting about Prince Archie’s skin colour.

The Duke applied for a judicial review after the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) decided in February 2020 not to afford him the “same degree” of personal protective security when visiting Britain.

The decision was made shortly after he announced he was stepping back as a working member of the Royal family to move abroad.

‘Procedurally unfair’

At a hearing in July 2022, it emerged that Sir Edward Young, the late Queen’s assistant private secretary and the Earl of Rosslyn, the Master of Prince Charles’s household, were on the committee.

The Duke argued that Sir Edward should not have been involved in the decision because of “significant tensions” between them.

Shaheed Fatima KC said the Duke should have been given a “clear and full explanation” of Ravec’s composition and it was “procedurally unfair” that he had been “deprived of the opportunity” to make representations to the committee on whether it was appropriate for certain individuals to be involved.

The Duke was cleared to bring the challenge on the grounds that he should have been able to make “informed representations” directly to Ravec before the decision was made.