The Guardian reports:
Three senior judges have ruled that the public has no right to read documents that would reveal how Prince Charles has sought to alter government policies.
The high court judges have rejected a legal attempt by the Guardian to force the publication of private letters written by the prince to government ministers.
Cabinet ministers have conceded that the prince’s private letters – dubbed “black spider memos” because of their scratchy handwriting – contained the prince’s “most deeply held personal views and beliefs” that could undermine the perception of his political neutrality. …
Grieve had argued that disclosure of the 27 “particularly frank” letters between the prince and ministers over a seven-month period would have seriously damaged his future role as king. The attorney general said there was a risk that the prince would not be seen to be politically neutral by the public if the letters were published.
“This risk will arise if, through these letters, the Prince of Wales was viewed by others as disagreeing with government policy. Any such perception would be seriously damaging to his role as future monarch because if he forfeits his position of political neutrality as heir to the throne, he cannot easily recover it when he is king,” Grieve had said.
This is almost Orwellian. It is not the publication of his letters that would damage his political neutrality. It is the fact he is in fact in no way politically neutral. His letters are what damage his political neutrality, not their publication.
The argument for the monarchy is that it provides a politically neutral head of state. It clearly does not. Prince Charles appears to be somewhere between Labour and the Greens in his political views. Good on him, but why should he get to become King of New Zealand?