Prince Harry could face a legal bill of more than $600,000 after a judge ruled Tuesday that he couldn’t pay for armed police guards while in the U.K.
His demand to be allowed to hire high-level, armed police for protection was a fork of a broader overall case by Harry that argues that he should simply be entitled to high level police security when in the U.K. due to “inherited risk.” The broader case is ongoing and is not affected by Tuesday’s ruling, but legal sources told The Daily Beast they considered the ruling augured badly for Harry.
Mark Stephens, a media lawyer at Howard Kennedy, said he believed “the writing is on the wall for this case now,” when speaking to The Daily Beast on Tuesday, after the British Home Office prevailed in its argument that were wealthy individuals such as Harry to be allowed to buy police protection, it would undermine public confidence in the police and detract from their core duties.
Although a ruling on costs has yet to be made, there is a very real possibility that Harry could be required to cover both his own and the government’s costs if his action fails.
Although Harry’s outlays so far are unknown, the government’s costs have been disclosed thanks to a Freedom of Information request filed by British tabloid The Sun, which reported that the case has cost the British taxpayer more than £300,000, or about $371,000, so far.
Harry’s costs are likely to be similar, making for the possibility of the prince being stung for an eye-watering total. The Daily Mail estimates that full costs for the High Court suit, which Harry may have to pay if he loses, could be as high as £500,000, or about $640,000.
Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry signed a number of lucrative deals for tell-all memoirs and documentaries, the staggering sum that they are spending on legal actions could become troublesome were they to lose some or all of the cases they currently have in progress.
In addition to the security case, Harry has two phone-hacking trials and a libel action before the courts.
Harry and Meghan may seem wealthy to casual observers, but The Daily Beast’s founding editor, Tina Brown, has said that by the standards of their neighbors in Montecito, they are not.
Speaking at the Henley Literary Festival last year, per the Telegraph, Brown said: “It’s not very pleasant to be a D-list celebrity who, for them, doesn’t have enough money. It’s a wholly different game to be with those super-rich people. In Montecito, where they live, their $14 million mansion is a humble cottage compared to what these other people have.”
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