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Prince Charles's black spider memos

(21 Posts)
sieglinde Wed 17-Oct-12 13:14:27

Why are we not allowed to see these? we're being told that it's because it would make it clear that he's not politically neutral. But this pretty much gives the game away, surely? He SHOULD BE politically neutral. I think he's a threat to the monarchy.

AuntieStella Wed 17-Oct-12 13:18:47

I don't think any monarch's or heir's correspondence has been released contemporaneously, and the Monarchy doesn't seem to have been particularly threatened over the centuries because of that.

Inneedofbrandy Wed 17-Oct-12 13:24:14

I don't think anybody can personally be nutreul about politics. There is a big diff from personal life an work life though and so what if he's a Tory/labour/green?

sieglinde Wed 17-Oct-12 15:11:01

Reserve powers, Inneedofbrandy. Suppose that at the last election the Lib dems and the Tories had been unable to form a coalition and suppose the Lib dems and labour had also fallen out. It would then fall upon the monarch to choose a leader to form a minority government, and here a track record of support for a particular party could be a problem.

Auntiestella, you are evidently not aware of the publication of Charles I's captured letters to Henrietta Maria after the battle of Naseby, and the huge impact they had on public opinion?

sieglinde Thu 18-Oct-12 10:06:07

Oh look. Everybody's gone.

AuntieStella Wed 12-Mar-14 14:37:07

I'm reanimating this thread to link a news article today as the Appeal Court has ruled that the ban on publication is unlawful

I wonder if they will now be released, or if there are further legal avenues.

sesw Wed 12-Mar-14 14:44:03


Very interesting post and history pointer. I liked the reference.

For what it's worth I think they should remain private.

EdithWeston Thu 26-Mar-15 09:56:45

It's in the news again today.

Looks like the Government appeal has failed and the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of The Guardian.

AuntieStella Thu 26-Mar-15 15:09:00

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot Sun 29-Mar-15 11:49:31

Will the replies to his letters be published alongside them?

Also, are letters by major party donors (especially those who scored gongs) routinely published?

AuntieStella Wed 13-May-15 06:38:51

Looks like they'll be published later today

No idea about WTF's questions.

MoggyP Wed 13-May-15 06:59:40

Serious question for those who are expert in these things.

What is the heir's role and has it changed as the Queen has grown older? We can see she's changed her public role (fewer visits and no tours), but what about the actual government stuff?

AuntieStella Wed 13-May-15 16:29:51

BBC now reporting that they're out

But doesn't (yet) have actual letters online.

AuntieStella Wed 13-May-15 16:45:54

The BBC site now links to them.

And from the one I've had a first quick look at, does contain the reply.

It doesn't seem that his concerns (mainly about beef and dairy farmers in the one I looked at) made the slightest bit of difference, other than giving Blair a chance to state that his government's existing policies would meet all those concerns anyhow.

HarrietVane99 Wed 13-May-15 17:05:59

I haven't seen the letters, but I don't see what the fuss is about. Is Prince Charles not entitled to express his opinion on matters that interest him? He has no power to compel anyone to act on his opinions. If any government minister or official is found to have been unduly influenced (rather than genuinely thinking HRH has put forward some good points), that's the government's problem, not his.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 13-May-15 17:11:17

I think it's good that He is informed and happy to voice that opinion.

AuntieStella Wed 13-May-15 17:16:54

The one about fish us in response to a letter from a minister.

And the one about architecture in N Ireland seems pretty anodyne too.

The Prince's Trust seems to be now involved in the restoration of the historic Armagh Gaol. But as it had failed to find support since 1986, it's probably a good thing he took an interest (before it fell down).

EdithWeston Wed 13-May-15 18:53:56

I can't quite see what all the fuss is about.

AuntieStella Thu 14-May-15 07:10:38

I think the conspiracy was more interesting than the actuality.

The idea that the Palace might genuinely fight a legal battle because they believed in the principle of private correspondence (not because they are worried about the content) was somewhat pooh-poohed. Less interesting for conspiracy theorists, but that's what seems to have happened.

AuntieStella Thu 14-May-15 20:36:10

Round up of the main issues in the correspondence

And here is Jack Straw saying why he thought the release was wrong.

EdithWeston Thu 04-Jun-15 18:51:54

Here's today's batch:

Again, nothing that he's not said in oodles of speeches.

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