In a surprising turn of events, a conservative US think tank has made a compelling plea to a federal judge, urging the release of Britain’s Prince Harry’s immigration records. This request comes after the prince revealed in his memoir that he had engaged in the use of illegal drugs. Lawyers representing the Washington-based Heritage Foundation have invoked the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to seek the records from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Samuel Dewey, a lawyer representing the Heritage Foundation, emphasized the case’s focus on both Prince Harry and the DHS’s adherence to the law.
During the hearing, the 38-year-old prince himself was not present in court as he found himself embroiled in a legal battle at London’s High Court. There, he voiced his concerns about the relentless and deeply invasive media coverage he has endured from the British press. Prince Harry, the younger son of King Charles III, has accused Mirror Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and the Sunday People tabloids, of engaging in illicit information gathering, including phone hacking.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, who is an American citizen, relocated to the United States in January 2020 after stepping back from their royal duties. In the ongoing complaint heard in the US District Court, the Heritage Foundation highlighted Prince Harry’s public admission to committing various drug offenses within the United States and abroad. The complaint states that such admissions generally render an individual inadmissible for entry into the United States under US law.
In his book titled “Spare,” Prince Harry openly acknowledged experimenting with drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelics. The Heritage Foundation argued for the release of Prince Harry’s immigration file, citing substantial public and press interest surrounding the case.
Furthermore, the Heritage Foundation drew attention to the fact that other celebrities, such as the late football star Maradona and the late singer Amy Winehouse, had been denied entry into the United States due to their past drug use. In response, the government acknowledged that there might be some public interest in the requested records but stated that it was not currently convinced of a compelling need to release them.
Previously, two branches of the DHS had declined to disclose Prince Harry’s immigration file without his consent. Visa applicants to the United States are required to disclose their history of drug use and may be barred from entry, although exceptions and waivers can be granted. Judge Carl Nichols has granted the DHS until June 13 to provide a response to the records request, setting the stage for a potentially significant legal outcome.