Prince Harry wins right to challenge UK police protection ruling

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex's lawsuit against a newspaper group, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Harry has been given permission to appeal against the rejection of his legal challenge to the British government's decision to take away his police protection when he is in Britain, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Harry, King Charles' younger son, started the action after the Home Office - the ministry responsible for policing - decided in February 2020 he would not automatically receive personal police security while in Britain.

In February, the High Court in London ruled that decision was lawful and dismissed Harry's case, and in April refused him permission to challenge that ruling in a higher court.

However, the Court of Appeal has now said it will hear his challenge following a direct application from Harry's lawyers, who said Harry had been granted permission to appeal.

Harry, along with other senior royals, had received full publicly-funded security protection before he stepped back from his royal duties and moved to California with his American wife Meghan in March 2020.

The Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures, known as RAVEC, then decided Harry would no longer receive the same level of protection.

Judge Peter Lane had concluded that RAVEC was entitled to reach this conclusion and ordered that he should pay 90% of the Home Office's "reasonable costs" in defending the case, though the government's total outlay was not stated.

In granting permission for an appeal, Judge David Bean said he was persuaded, "not without hesitation", that Harry's challenge on the grounds that RAVEC had not followed its own stated policy had a real prospect of success.

The case against the government is one of several high-profile legal battles Harry has brought in the High Court, with his others involving lawsuits against major players in the British press.

(Reporting by Michael Holden and Sam Tobin, Editing by Paul Sandle)