What are the Black Spider Memos? Read Prince Charles’s letters in full

Here’s why everyone is going on about the Black Spider Memos

For the last 10 years, journalists have been battling the government and the Royal family to get a glimpse of private letters sent by Prince Charles.

Known as the Black Spider Memos, the 27 letters were sent between the prince and ministers in secret during Tony Blair’s government in 2004 and 2005.

In 2005, The Guardian requested a copy of them under the Freedom of Information Act, which allows documents and information of public interest to be accessed by members of the public.

When the request was denied, the newspaper took the government to a tribunal, and then the supreme court, and eventually forced publication of the letters.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the publication was “deeply disappointing”.

He added: “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.”

A spokesperson for Prince Charles the prince was “disappointed that the principle of privacy has not been upheld”.

Read the letters in full here.

Or, even better, read our article 5 weird revelations about Prince Charles from his secret letters

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