‘The Guardian’ Vs. Prince Charles: Secret Letters To Be Released

Rob Evans, reporter for the Guardian, has waged an epic 10-year battle against Prince Charles and the British government, petitioning for secret letters to be released. This week, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling to have the letters released, finally ending the ordeal once and for all.

Evans launched the campaign in 2005, believing the secret letters between Prince Charles and government officials should be released to the public. When he becomes king, Charles will be constitutionally bound to remain politically neutral. The letters may show his intent to influence politicians, reports CNN.

Though the battle may be over, the debate yet ensues. Both sides are still at odds, standing firm in the belief that the letters either should or should not be released. Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor-in-chief, could not be happier with the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling demanding the letters to be released.

“The government wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds trying to cover up these letters, admitting their publication would ‘seriously damage’ perceptions of the Prince’s political neutrality. Now they must publish them so that the public can make their own judgment.”

British officials are understandably less than enthused to have the letters released. CNN’s royal correspondent, Max Foster, shared his opinion.

“These were private letters, never meant for public consumption, which is why the Prince’s office has resisted their release. But they play into a much bigger debate about the role of monarchy. Should Charles be getting involved in politics at all when, as head of state, he’ll be expected to be politically neutral? He’s not in that position yet so feels he has some leeway.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron has shown disappointment that the letters will be forcibly released.

“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. Our FOI (Freedom of Information) laws specifically include the option of a governmental veto, which we exercised in this case for a reason. If the legislation does not make Parliament’s intentions for the veto clear enough, then we will need to make it clearer.”

BBC News reports the letters, dubbed the “black spider memos” in reference to Prince Charles’ handwriting, were correspondence between Prince Charles and seven government departments in 2004 and 2005.

Regardless of the fact that tensions are running high in the wake of the ruling to release the letters, they nevertheless will be released. The battle is over. What happens next remains to be seen.

[Image via Top News]