British High Court rejects Prince Harry's bid to overturn security downgrade

Prince Harry on Wednesday lost a bid for Britain's High Court to overturn a decision to downgrade his security after he left his duties as a working royal. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Prince Harry on Wednesday lost a challenge in Britain's High Court claiming that a downgrade of his security status after he left his duties as a working royal was unlawful.

The High Court Judge Peter Lane's decision, issued after much of the proceedings were held in private due to confidential evidence presented found that the decision by the Royal and VIP Executive Committee, or RAVEC, in conjunction with the Home Office's Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty, was "legally sound."

Lane said Harry's legal team, which said the decision to downgrade Harry's status and prevent him from paying for additional protection was "unlawful and unfair" while presenting the threat of "the impact on the U.K.'s reputation of a successful attack" against him, had taken "an inappropriate, formalist interpretation of the RAVEC process."

The Home Office had asserted that it had the authority to provide Harry "bespoke" defense on a case-by-case basis, which Lane said was "legally sound."

He added that Harry and his wife Meghan Markle "did not fit readily" within RAVEC's usual framework with covers "risks arising within Great Britain as they affect principals who are in almost every case resident within Great Britain" after they left to live in the United States.

The Home Office praised the decision.

"We are pleased that the court has found in favor of the government's position in this case and we are carefully considering our next steps," Home Office said. "It would be inappropriate to comment further. The UK government's protective security is rigorous and proportionate."

Prince Harry's legal them said they would appeal in search of a more favorable ruling.

"The duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of RAVEC's own rules, ensuring that receives the same consideration as others in accordance with RAVEC's own written policy."