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Prince Harry can sue UK government over his security arrangements, judge rules

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By Euronews  with AP
Harry lost publicly funded UK police protection when he stepped down as a senior working royal.
Harry lost publicly funded UK police protection when he stepped down as a senior working royal.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File

Prince Harry can take the British government to court over his security arrangements in the UK, a London judge has ruled.

Harry and his wife Meghan lost publicly-funded UK police protection when they stepped down as senior working royals and moved to North America in 2020.

The prince wants to pay personally for police security when he comes to Britain and is challenging the government’s refusal to allow it.

Judge Jonathan Swift ruled on Friday that the case can go to a full hearing at the High Court in London as some grounds of Harry's complaint “give rise to an arguable case”.

A date has not been set for the case to be heard.

Harry and the former actress Meghan Markle married at Windsor Castle in 2019 but stepped down as working royals the following year, citing alleged intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.

Harry’s lawyers have said the prince is reluctant to bring the couple’s children — 3-year-old Archie and 1-year-old Lilibet — to his homeland because it is not safe.

Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, says his private security team in the US does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information.

His lawyers also argue that a February 2020 decision that removed his full royal security was unreasonable because Harry was not allowed to make “informed representations beforehand”.

The British government says the committee’s decision was reasonable and that it is not possible to pay privately for police protection.