Prince Harry was told to give 28 days’ notice of his planned trips to the UK, it has emerged.
The Duke of Sussex was told that the time would allow for security requests to be processed and that it would be a matter for the Home Office to consider whether the requested security arrangements were necessary.
According to The Telegraph, Harry pushed back on the decision, asking the Home Office committee responsible for royal security to give him an example of a person with the same threat assessment as him who had received no security after stepping back from public duty.
Details of Harry’s security arrangements have been disclosed in papers as part of his attempt to rule that the publishers of the Mail on Sunday libelled him with an article about his request for police protection when he and his family visit the UK.
The prince is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over the story, which was published in February 2022 under the headline: “Exclusive: How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a secret… then – just minutes after the story broke – his PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute.”
The court heard that in an April 2020 email to Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, Harry “made it clear we couldn’t afford private security until we were able to earn”.
Harry’s lead attorney asked Judge Matthew Nickin either to strike out the publisher’s defence or to deliver a summary judgment, which would be a ruling in the prince’s favour without going to trial.
ANL is contesting the claim, arguing the article expressed an “honest opinion” and did not cause “serious harm” to his reputation.
The duke’s challenge against the Home Office came about after he was told he would no longer be given the “same degree” of personal protective security when visiting.
Harry’s legal team argued the security arrangements were invalid due to “procedural unfairness” because he was not given an opportunity to make “informed representations beforehand”.
The court heard that in the public statement, Harry and his family were described as “unable to return to his home” due to the lack of police protection needed in the UK.
The statement continued: “The duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham. That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer.”
Read more about Prince Harry’s libel claim here.