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Blow for Prince Harry as he loses legal challenge over security

The Duke of Sussex received the news on Tuesday morning

Prince Harry looking serious in a suit at court in London
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
23 May 2023
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Prince Harry has lost a bid to bring a second High Court challenge against the Home Office over his security arrangements when visiting the UK.

The Duke had asked for permission to bring the challenge over a decision that he should not be allowed to pay privately for his protective security.

His lawyers wanted a judicial review of the rejection of his offer to pay for protection in the UK, after his security arrangements changed when the prince stopped being a "working royal".

Prince Harry looks serious in the sun© Getty
Prince Harry has lost his legal challenge against the Home Office

But a judge has ruled not to give the go ahead for such a hearing.

Home Office lawyers had opposed the idea of allowing wealthy people to "buy" security from the police.

The decision, however, does not necessarily mean the security battle is over. Harry has already won the right to a full judicial review against the Home Office over the main decision to deny him protective security. His lawyers can also appeal Tuesday's ruling. 

Prince Harry pictured arriving at the Royal Courts of Justice earlier in March © Getty
Prince Harry pictured arriving at the Royal Courts of Justice earlier in March

Tuesday’s ruling comes amid an ongoing High Court trial involving the Duke, in which he is bringing a contested claim against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over allegations of unlawful information gathering.

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Harry is also waiting for rulings over whether similar cases against publishers Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) and News Group Newspapers (NGN) can go ahead.

Prince Harry looking serious in a black suit© Getty
Prince Harry is returning to the UK in June for another court appearance

A judgment is also expected in the Duke's libel claim against ANL – publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday – over an article on his case against the Home Office.

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It comes exactly seven days after Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were involved in a near-catastrophic car chase.

The incident occurred after Meghan received a Woman of Vision award at the Ms. Foundation for Women's annual gala on Tuesday night last week.

In a statement, the spokesperson said: "Last night, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Doria Ragland at the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards: Celebrating Generations of Progress & Power© Getty
Meghan and Harry with her mother Doria at the awards

"This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.  

"While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone's safety."

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It was alleged that those involved in the chase broke multiple road rules - including running a red light, driving on the pavement, driving while on the phone, driving while photographing and illegally blocking a moving vehicle.

They claimed they were chased for two hours© MEGA
The couple pictured leaving the event on the night of the incident

Law enforcement sources told CBS News, their vehicle circled the venue for about an hour in an unsuccessful effort to shake off the paparazzi. They then went to the New York police department's 19th precinct police station, where they switched vehicles in another attempt to get away.

Get the lowdown on the incident in the video below... 

Harry And Meghan Pursued ‘Relentlessly’ In ‘Near Catastrophic’ Car Chase

However, Harry and Meghan’s account has proved divisive, however.

Conflicting accounts of what Harry and Meghan's spokesperson described as a "near catastrophic car chase" resulting in "multiple near collisions" have emerged since the incident was made public on Wednesday.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend The Royal Variety Performance 2018 at the London Palladium on November 19, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)© Max Mumby/Indigo
The couple's account has been called into question

New York police said "numerous photographers" had made the couple's journey from an awards ceremony on Tuesday evening "challenging", but added there had been "no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests".

A taxi driver who briefly drove them suggested their spokesperson's account was "exaggerated", while some photographers involved have denied parts of it.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle hold hands United Nations Headquarters© Getty
Harry and Meghan had requested copies of the photos and videos taken on the night

Backgrid, the California-based entertainment picture agency who took the pictures, said on Thursday it had received a letter from the Sussexes' legal team.

It said the letter stated: "We hereby demand that Backgrid immediately provide us with copies of all photos, videos, and/or films taken last night by the freelance photographers after the couple left their event and over the next several hours."

prince harry meghan markle walk in rain under umbrella© Getty
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have kept a low-profile since the incident

The agency said it had replied in a letter: "In America, as I'm sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it: Third parties cannot just demand it be given to them, as perhaps Kings can do.

"Perhaps you should sit down with your client and advise them that his English rules of royal prerogative to demand that the citizenry hand over their property to the Crown were rejected by this country long ago. We stand by our founding fathers."

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