Prince Harry: Queen’s private secretary should not have been involved in security decision
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in London - AFP / Matt Dunham
The Duke of Sussex has argued that "significant tensions" between him and the Queen's private secretary, Sir Edward Young, meant he should not have been involved in the Government's decision to deny him and his family police protection in the UK.
Shaheed Fatima QC, on behalf of Prince Harry, told the High Court that it was not "appropriate" for Sir Edward or senior members of the royal household to have a say in the matter and complained that the Duke had been told to the Home Office committee was that this was the case "independent."
She pointed out that the Duke's concerns and demands for his safety - including an offer of payment - that had been made to Sir Edward and others had not been "fully communicated" to the committee.
Prince Harry is seeking a judicial review of the decision to deny him and his family automatic security if they step back onto British soil, and instead review them on a case-by-case basis.
He is questioning the "unlawful" decision by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (known as Ravec) in February 2020, shortly after announcing he was stepping down as a working member of the royal family and moving abroad.
The Duke on Thursday filed a request for a second judicial review of his bid to pay protection, which government lawyers have dismissed as "irrelevant".
Sir James Eadie of the Home Office said he did not accept that the decision was unlawful, adding that a person "should not be allowed to simply call for security" because they could afford to pay the police.
"Clear and complete explanation"
As it turned out in court, Sir Edward, the Queen's Deputy Private Secretary and Prince Charles' Caretaker were on the committee at the time of the decision.
Ms Fatima told the court that Prince Harry should have been given a "clear and full explanation" of the composition of Ravec "and those involved in its decision-making, meaning that this includes the royal household".
She said he was "deprived of the opportunity" to make "direct statements" to members and was not briefed on their policies and their application.
Ms Fatima added in written submissions that he should also be given the opportunity to raise other points he would like "such as whether it is appropriate for the royal household/specific individuals to be involved in decision-making".
She insisted in court, "We have not alleged bias, we have not alleged bad faith."
The barrister informed Mr Justice Swift that the Duke did not believe Sir Edward should have been involved.
"There was considerable tension between the plaintiff and Sir Edward Young," she said.
The judge replied, "That's quite a bold submission."
The reveal hints at the volatile behind-the-scenes atmosphere at the Palace over "Megxit."
Ms Fatima argued that government policy allows for the provision of state security to all within the "immediate successor" but that in this case it had been applied in a "too rigid" way as the Duke, who is sixth in line to the throne, was of this Scope has been excluded.
Sir James said the Duke's claim that he was entitled to permanent security regardless of his role within the royal family was "fundamentally inconsistent" with his decision.
He said the Duke has also had ample time to complain about "procedural injustice" following the decision in February 2020, and hinted there is "no good reason" to introduce it this year.
"The complainant's view of what his status and circumstances require in terms of protective measures after his resignation from official duties was not and is not shared by Ravec," he said.
"Plaintiff's view is obviously not the only rational view."
The judge reserves his decision, which is expected to be made within weeks.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Duke of Sussex
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