After resigning from his royal duties, Prince Harry ‘whinged he could not afford private security to protect himself.
After resigning from royal duties “until we are able to earn,” PRINCE Harry complained in court that he could not afford private security to keep himself safe.
Legal proceedings regarding the Duke of Sussex’s libel suit against the Mail on Sunday’s publishers resumed in the High Court yesterday.
After an article about Harry’s attempt to compel the government to provide police bodyguards when his family visits Britain was published, Harry has decided to sue Associated Newspapers Limited.
Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that the article implied the Duke was at fault for statements in which it was falsely claimed that he offered to pay for the police protection himself before bringing the case against the Home Office.
Spare, Harry’s explosive memoir, reveals that at a family summit with his father and brother at Sandringham, the terms for his departure from royal duties in January 2020 were laid out.
At the summit, in which the late Queen participated, Harry allegedly offered to foot the bill for the guards.
As Harry’s attorney, Justin Rushbrooke, KC, told the court, Harry offered to foot the bill for his family’s police protection at the summit.
Whether Harry “communicated his offer to pay directly” to the Home Office or the Royal and VIP Executive Committee [Ravec], which reviews the royal family’s security needs, is “irrelevant,” according to him.
Rushbrooke stated that Harry never stated he made the offer directly to the Home Office or Ravec before bringing his case.
He stated that it was “self-evident” that Harry would relay the offer to the next person.
Three months after the family summit, Harry emailed Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, saying it was obvious that “we couldn’t afford private security until we were able to earn.” This is according to Andrew Caldecott, KC, who represents Mail on Sunday publisher Associated Newspapers.
Caledcott said Harry claims the email contained an offer to pay for his security but he cannot disclose the full email due to a confidentiality agreement.
The court was also informed that the letter mentions the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens.
Three weeks after the summit, Prince Harry says he discussed his offer with Sir Mark Sedwill, who was then Cabinet Secretary and the UK’s national security adviser.
His alleged “willingness to pay for security if necessary” was reaffirmed.
The Mail on Sunday story was published in February last year under the headline: “Exclusive: How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a secret… then – just minutes after the story broke – his PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute”.
Publisher’s attorney Andrew Caldecott KC claims that Prince Harry is “playing fast and loose” with a previous ruling.
“The application is without merit and should be dismissed,” he argued in written briefs.
An offer to pay for security to members of the Royal Family, he argued, is not the same as an offer to government, and Harry could be accused of misleading the public.
“The claimant (Harry) was responsible for a public statement claiming he was willing to pay for police protection and the legal challenge was to the government’s refusal to do so,” he explained.
As Mr. Caldecott put it, “straitjacketing the newspapers right to comment” was the essence of Harry’s lawyer’s argument.
He argued that the media’s ability to speak truth to power was crucial, and that the media’s ability to speak opinion to power was just as crucial, if not more so, provided that the opinion was based on facts.
After sending a list of questions about the action to the duke’s PR firm and lawyer, the Mail on Sunday received a background note outlining Harry’s judicial review claims but no direct answers.
“I don’t understand the reluctance to answer straight-forward questions about legal proceedings in court,” said Mr. Justice Nicklin.
A decision on whether the newspaper can maintain its claim that the article was “honest opinion” was withheld while the judge deliberated.
After being told in September 2021 that he would no longer receive the “same degree” of personal protective security when visiting from his home in California, Harry began legal proceedings against the Home Office.
The duke has been given permission to proceed with a full hearing in that case, which has already cost the government nearly $300,000.