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Prince Harry’s US visa challenged in federal court over drug-use revelations

Prince Harry speaks during the Closing Ceremony for the 2017 Invictus Games at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on September 30, 2017. (DoD photo by Roger L. Wollenberg)
June 05, 2023

“Spare,” Prince Harry’s autobiography, caused a flurry of gossip and press headaches for the British royal family when it was released this year. Following a complaint by the Heritage Foundation, the book’s scandalous revelations may lead to Prince Harry’s U.S. immigration visa being revoked. 

The Heritage Foundation submitted a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to compel the U.S. government to release Harry’s immigration records. Per U.S. law, immigration passports can be denied with evidence of past drug use by the applicant. 

Previously, the Heritage Foundation had requested these records and been denied. Following the denial, the Heritage Foundation appealed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for their release. 

Nile Gardner, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, tweeted that the case was to be heard on June 6, 2023.

In his tweet, he asks “While President (Joe) Biden’s DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is actively flouting enforcement of immigration law at the southern border, are celebrity elites receiving special treatment?” 

In “Spare,” Harry readily admits to drug use, including the use of controlled substances cocaine and psychedelic mushrooms in his late teen years.

The Heritage Foundation’s motive is to discover whether or not Harry lied on his visa application, on which applicants are required to disclose drug use. If Harry lied, it could be grounds for his visa to be revoked and his forced deportation. 

If the records show that Harry was truthful, the Heritage Foundation is seeking details on why his drug use wasn’t a barrier to his visa, including the decision-making process, individuals involved and whether a waiver was granted. 

READ MORE: Another Prince Harry book? ‘Spare Us!’ gives his memoir the parody treatment

Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018, eventually stepping down from his position within the royal family, immigrating to the U.S. and purchasing a home in Southern California. 

Questions regarding the legality of his visa aren’t the only judicial matters Prince Harry faces. Harry, along with over 100 individuals, has sued Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the publication umbrella for the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People tabloids. 

MGN faces allegations of unlawful activity in the course of sourcing news stories, including phone hacking, for the time period between 1991 and 2011. 

Prince Harry is expected to testify, making his appearance the first time a member of the Royal family has given witness in a court since the 1800s. 

Neither Prince Harry nor his representatives have publicly issued a statement regarding either case.