No special treatment for Prince Harry: Judge dismisses argument to ‘jump the queue’ in security appeal

Prince Harry had requested to speed up his appeal against a High Court ruling in hopes of having it heard by July’s end. However, a Court of Appeal judge has now denied him permission to “jump the queue,” erasing any room for special treatment for the Duke of Sussex.

FILE – Britain’s Prince Harry leaves after attending an Invictus Games Foundation 10th Anniversary Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Prince Harry has been given permission to appeal the British government’s rejection of his police protection detail in the U.K. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)(AP)

Last week, his plea to appeal against the February decision that backed the Government’s right to deny him automatic police protection was granted. The estranged royal family member’s request to expedite the process was reportedly tied to his fears that the ruling would ultimately affect other countries’ line of action regarding his security.

The Sussex couple wrapped up their brief “quasi-royal” trip to Nigeria in May, and they’re expected to embark on several other tours in the near future. According to The Telegraph, Prince Harry was exhausted by the litigation being dragged out for over two years. As the Duke’s team will reportedly be occupied with other official matters from October, he’d argued for the process to be hastened.

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Prince Harry’s request to speed up appeal proceedings dismissed

Although Lord Justice Bean had initially been permitted the appeal, he denied the Duke’s application to expedite hearings for the official issue. In his counter, the judge addressed Prince Harry’s “status” and how, regardless of that, he’d be receiving no special treatment to ease things up: “It is rightly not suggested that the claimant is entitled to jump the queue because of his status.”

Noting that the Duke did not lodge legal proceedings until 18 months after the decision came through, rebuffing his right to automatic security in February 2020.

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Ultimately, Prince Harry sought a judicial review in September 2021 on five grounds. He reportedly did so because arising fears of security concerns had rendered his family—wife Meghan Markle and children Prince Archie (5) and Princess Lilibet (3)—unable to accompany him on his UK tours. Per reports from The Telegraph, the Duke had even refused the invitation from his father, King Charles III, to lodge at Buckingham Palace for the same reasons.

Although most grounds of the Prince’s appeal request were slammed as “unpersuasive, Lord Justice Bean claimed that the first ground ”would have a real prospect of success” as the Royal and VIP Executive Committee (Ravec) had seemingly failed to follow its own written policy.

Lord Justice Bean also suggested the possibility that Mr Justice Lane, who defeated the Prince with his scathing ruling in 2020, had mistakenly concluded the Duke was not eligible for comparisons with those in the “other VIP category” who are permitted state security.

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