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The infamous ‘black spider memos’ written by Prince Charles to be published tomorrow

Prince Charles’ secret letters to British government ministers revealing personal views that the government has suggested could weaken his political impartiality are to be published on Wednesday.

The infamous ‘black spider memos’ written by Prince Charles to be published tomorrow.

The infamous ‘black spider memos’ written by Prince Charles to be published tomorrow.

The ‘Black Spider Memos’ released on Wednesday will contain redacted material as per the upper tribunal’s ruling on Tuesday.

The 27 letters sent from Charles and ministers in seven government departments in 2004 and 2005 will now be made public.

The seven various Whitehall departments at the time were led by Labour secretaries of state. The departments included: business, innovation and skills; health; children, schools and families; environment, food and rural affairs; culture, media and sport; the Northern Ireland Office and the Cabinet Office.

In March, supreme court judges allowed the publication of the letters. Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time that the ruling was “deeply disappointing”.

“This is about the principle that senior members of the royal family are able to express their views to government confidentially. I think most people would agree this is fair enough,” Cameron continued.

The government has been fighting to defend Charles from investigation over what former attorney general Dominic Grieve has noted as Charles’s “particularly frank” interferences on public policy in the letters.

Grieve vetoed the information tribunal’s initial decision to order publication in 2012. He warned that the letters “contain remarks about public affairs which would in my view, if revealed, have had a material effect upon the willingness of the government to engage in correspondence with the Prince of Wales, and would potentially have undermined his position of political neutrality.”

A Clarence House spokesperson commented that on the disappointment “that the principle of privacy has not been upheld.”

Charles has been widely criticised for what many see as his meddling in public affairs.

Photo Credit: UK in Spain via Flickr

  • Ricky

    I understand that when Prince Charles becomes King, he will be expected to be politically impartial, as Her Majesty has always been.

    But he’s not the monarch yet, and I don’t understand the objections to him expressing his opinions about important issues. The fact that he cares enough to make use of his access to government ministers is commendable, and far better than having an apathetic Prince of Wales.

    He doesn’t have the authority to tell government ministers what to do, so what’s the problem with him writing letters? They’re under no obligation to take any advice he might give, and they’re free to ignore him.

    Maybe it’s because I’m an American, but this all seems overblown. I look forward to reading some of Prince Charles’ letters if they’re published.

  • Bernhard Franz

    Hope he won´t suddenly “die” if he voices his opinions like Di did, who talked against landmines.Charles just says what´s up and noone in politics does that they all lie in order to not upset any lobby group.

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