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Compiled by Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

In absentia Prince Harry fights for his and his family’s protection in the UK

Prince Harry, who now lives in the US with his young family, is fighting for the protection of his family when visiting his homeland, the UK.

Speaking at a hearing on Thursday through his barrister in a written statement, Prince Harry has averred that he wants his kids to feel safe when visiting his homeland, the United Kingdom.

Harry is reportedly challenging the Home Office over a decision to downgrade his security protection when visiting, while the government says his claim should be dismissed.

Harry’s barrister Shaheed Fatima KC said references by the Home Office’s lawyers to the prince no longer being a full-time working royal were “often said in a way that emphasised choice”.

But she said he did not accept this.

She read out an excerpt of a statement written by Harry as part of his case, in which he said: “It was with great sadness for both of us that my wife and I felt forced to step back from this role and leave the country in 2020.”

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‘The UK my home’

“The UK is my home. The UK is central to the heritage of my children and a place I want them to feel at home as much as where they live at the moment in the US. That cannot happen if it’s not possible to keep them safe when they are on UK soil.

“I cannot put my wife in danger like that and, given my experiences in life, I am reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too,” said Harry in a statement read-out by Fatima KC.

Prince Harry’s lawyers argued there had been a lack of transparency about the decision and the prince had been not been treated the same way as others.

There was “no good reason for singling out the claimant [Prince Harry] this way,” said his legal team.

“Ravec should have considered the ‘impact’ a successful attack on the claimant would have, bearing in mind his status, background and profile within the royal family – which he was born into and which he will have for the rest of his life – and his ongoing charity work and service to the public,” said Fatima KC.

But the Home Office’s case argued that as the prince was no longer a working royal and lived overseas, “his position has materially changed”.

“In those circumstances protective security would not be provided on the same basis as before,” said its lawyers.

Sir James Eadie KC, for the Home Office, said in written arguments it was “simply incorrect” to suggest that there was no evidence that the issue of impact was considered, adding that the death of Diana, Princess of Wales – Harry’s mother – was raised as part of the decision.

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