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Prince Charles’s ‘Black Spider Memos’ published today

Guardian starts publishing Prince Charles 'Black spider memos.' Image: Guardian coverage. Click through

Guardian starts publishing Prince Charles ‘Black spider memos.’ Image: Guardian coverage. Click through

Secret letters sent by Prince Charles to Labour government ministers a decade ago have been published by the Guardian after a marathon legal battle.

The 27 letters have been called ‘Black Spider Memos’ because of Prince Charles’s handwriting.

These letters will be released after a 10 year campaign by The Guardian.

The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision last year that the government’s veto on publication is unlawful.

Prince Charles and the ministers in seven Government departments wrote these letters between 2004 and 2005, when Tony Blair was Prime Minister.

They will be published with redactions to protect the personal data of those involved.

The government has been battling to protect the Prince of Wales from ‘scrutiny.’

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve says the letters will reveal Charles’s ‘particularly frank’ interventions on public policy.

Mr Grieve warns 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

David Cameron said of the Court’s decision:

The decision is 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.

Those critics of Charles’s alleged ‘meddling in public affairs’ have welcomed the ruling and called for greater transparency still.

They argue that it’s overstating the case to say publishing the memos could undermine Charles’s political neutrality.

The public have taken to twitter over anticipation of the information provided in these letters.

 

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