Prince Harry asserts his UK base as he sues the government

He is arguing his US protection team does not have access to British intelligence

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry now live in the US.  AP
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The UK “is and always will be his home”, lawyers for the Duke of Sussex have said in the first hearing of his High Court claim against the Home Office over his police protection in the UK.

Harry is bringing a claim over the Home Office’s decision not to allow him to pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.

He is arguing that his private protection team in the US does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to UK intelligence information which is needed to keep his family safe.

The duke wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, a legal representative has previously said.

On Friday, the first hearing in the case took place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, which Prince Harry did not attend.

At the preliminary hearing, the court heard an application by both sides for some parts of the court documents in the case to be kept private.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, plant flowers and forget-me-nots during a visit to the Assistance League Los Angeles' Preschool Learning Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S. August 31, 2020, in this picture obtained from social media. Picture taken August 31, 2020. Mandatory credit MATT SAYLES/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Introducing the case, Shaheed Fatima QC, for the duke, said: “This claim is about the fact that the claimant does not feel safe when he is in the UK given the security arrangements applied to him in June 2021 and will continue to be applied to him.”

She continued: “It goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart.

“Most of all this is, and always will be, his home.”

The duke briefly returned from Los Angeles last year for the July 1 unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial statue and, the day before, on June 30, he met seriously ill children and young people at a WellChild garden party and afternoon tea in Kew Gardens, in West London.

It is understood the duke’s car was chased by photographers as he left.

Friday’s hearing is expected to last around two hours, with part of the proceedings to be held in private.

Prince Harry’s bid for a review of the Home Office decision was filed in September and has not yet been granted or denied permission for a full hearing.

The duke has previously said he “inherited” a risk on being born into the royal family.

Harry and his wife Meghan now live in the US with their children Archie and Lilibet.

The couple lost their taxpayer-funded police protection after quitting as senior working royals in early 2020.

They were later forced to disclose they had put in place “privately funded security arrangements” for their move to the US, after then president Donald Trump said his country would not pay for their protection.

The hearing in front of Mr Justice Swift continues.

Updated: February 18, 2022, 12:24 PM
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