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Prince Harry in legal setback about security protection in U.K.

Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, arrive for the 2024 Royal Salute Polo Challenge to Benefit Sentebale, April 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, arrive for the 2024 Royal Salute Polo Challenge to Benefit Sentebale, April 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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LONDON -

Prince Harry's fight for police protection in the U.K. received another setback on Monday, when a judge rejected his request to appeal an earlier ruling upholding a government panel's decision to limit his access to publicly funded security after giving up his status as a working member of the royal family.

The long-running legal battle began more than four years ago when Harry challenged the panel's decision, arguing that he and his family still needed an armed security detail because of hostility directed toward him and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on social media and relentless hounding by the news media.

High Court Judge Peter Lane said the February 2020 decision to provide security to the Duke of Sussex on an as-needed basis wasn't unlawful, irrational or unjustified.

 

But High Court Judge Peter Lane ruled in February that the panel's decision, which provides for "bespoke" security on an as-needed basis, wasn't unlawful, irrational or unjustified.

"Insofar as the case-by-case approach may otherwise have caused difficulties, they have not been shown to be such as to overcome the high hurdle so as to render the decision-making irrational," Lane wrote in his 51-page ruling.

In most cases, U.K. plaintiffs don't have an automatic right to appeal and they must seek permission from the original court before doing so.

The High Court said Monday it had rejected Harry's initial bid for permission to appeal. However, he can now seek permission directly from the Court of Appeal.

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