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Black Spider letters: Publication will 'inhibit' ability to make views known, says Palace

Published 13/05/2015

The Prince of Wales offered opinions on a number of issues
The Prince of Wales offered opinions on a number of issues

The making public of correspondence between Prince Charles and government ministers will "inhibit" the ability of the heir to the throne to raise concerns, Clarence House has said.

In a statement a spokesperson for the Prince's official residence said the royal "cares deeply about this country."

"The Prince of Wales believes, as have successive Governments, that he should have a right to communicate privately. The publication of private letters can only inhibit his ability to express the concerns and suggestions which have been put to him in the course of his travels and meetings," the statement said.

"This view has been given effect by Parliament, which passed legislation in 2010 to ensure that the communications of The Prince of Wales, and that of The Queen, should be exempt from publication under the Freedom of Information Act. This change emphasised the unique constitutional positions of the Sovereign and the Heir to the Throne. Clarence House continues to believe in the principle of privacy.'

The letters between Labour government ministers and the Prince dating from between September 2004 and March 2005 were released after a decade-long legal and tribunal action by the Guardian newspaper.

The correspondence includes revelations that the Prince of Wales directly raised concerns with the then prime minister Tony Blair about the level of funding in the armed forces.

He also discussed herbal medicine with the PM in person and said an EU directive on the subject was having "a deleterious effect on the complementary medicine sector in this country".

Independent News Service

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