Prince Harry Faces Massive Legal Bill In Lost Battle Over Private Security

Prince Harry's legal battle over protection looks like it has finally come to a resolution, but it's not the outcome Harry was hoping for. Harry and Meghan's security battle with U.K. police has been messy and ongoing, with the former royal questioning his safety in his home country.

Prince Harry's lawyer claimed he "does not feel safe" bringing his children to the U.K., as well as visiting himself without police protection and security (via Vanity Fair). After Harry and Meghan famously stepped away from their royal duties and roles in January 2020, they were stripped of their public-funded protection in the U.K., which is offered to select members of the royal family. The pair was also refused the ability to pay for police protection themselves by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (via CBC News).

Prince Harry made a bid to legally challenge the British government's decision, but the courts and judge did not agree, and the Duke of Sussex lost his case on Tuesday, May 23. Now, Prince Harry may be left with a hefty bill to pay. 

Prince Harry may have to pay the full High Court cost

According to Express, Prince Harry could face a very costly bill of £500,000 after the case. Harry's lawyers argued that the British Home Office didn't have the authority to refuse Prince Harry the right to pay for his own private security, but it seems that the judge and court did not agree. Meanwhile, the government's lawyers claimed it would be unlawful to offer Harry the ability to fund his own protection, as this could create less available security and police for those who are not as wealthy and cannot afford to pay for their own services.

There have been several incidences where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have expressed fear for their safety, with the latest being an alleged paparazzi car chase in New York City. According to the Sussexes' spokesperson, the incident reportedly involved two hours of aggressive paparazzi chasing the couple's taxi. It remains unclear what Prince Harry's next move will be in regard to the security of himself and his family.

Prince Harry has another suit filed that may be the answer he's looking for

Prince Harry has not been completely unprotected in the U.K. after he left his official position. When Harry and Meghan Markle were in England for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebration, they were given security, but only at the celebration's events. Since the security Harry and Meghan pay for in the U.S. has no jurisdiction in the U.K., they stayed in Frogmore Cottage with their children the rest of the time. Similarly, Harry had protection at King Charles' coronation, but only at the event itself.

Although Prince Harry lost this suit and cannot pay for his own police protection in the U.K., he has another lawsuit filed that may help his family's security issues. If he won this additional suit, the state-funded protection that Harry and Meghan lost in 2020 would be reinstated for the couple and their family. Harry also has suits filed related to another kind of security — one suit, for example, is against Mirror Group Newspapers accusing them of hacking his phone and the phones of other celebrities for information.x

Security and privacy is very important to Harry, due to the circumstances of his mother Princess Diana's death. In a 2019 interview with ITV News, Harry expressed how the paparazzi reminds him of his mother in the worst way, saying that every camera flash is, " ... the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best" (via Page Six).