Days after Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, say they experienced a “near catastrophic” event due to the paparazzi in New York City, the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex has suffered a legal loss regarding his security while visiting the United Kingdom.

According to the BBC, a judge in the U.K. has ruled not to give the former royal a hearing after Harry made a legal challenge to be allowed to make private payments for police protection while across the pond.

Harry’s lawyers wanted a judicial review of the previous rejection of his offer to pay for protection while in the U.K. after his security arrangements changed when he and Meghan opted to step down as senior members of the royal family in 2020.

The BBC noted that Home Office lawyers opposed the idea of letting the wealthy “buy” security from British police. Harry and Meghan have been vocal about their security concerns in the United Kingdom after losing protection now that they are no longer working members of the royal family. Harry recently returned to the U.K. alone for the coronation of his father, King Charles III, earlier this month.

This ruling comes in the wake of Harry and Meghan’s recent drama after they left the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards in New York City last week along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland. The couple released a statement claiming they were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” with the paparazzi.

“Last night, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi,” a spokesperson for the couple previously told ET in a statement. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers.”

In the wake of Meghan and Harry’s statement, the NYPD issued one of their own, which read in part, “There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests in regard.”

Backgrid, who promised “a thorough investigation into the matter,” defended their freelance photographers by citing the NYPD’s statement in their response, and claiming, “One of the four SUVs from Prince Harry’s security escort was driving in a manner that could be perceived as reckless.” The photo agency additionally said that “the photographers have reported feeling that the couple was not in immediate danger at any point.”


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