Prince Charles Loses Bid to Keep Letters Private

The fear is Britons may not find Charles to be politically neutral — as a king must be — and the monarchy would be undermined

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014  |  Updated 8:23 AM PDT
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Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales leaves following the annual Commonwealth Observance service at Westminster Abbey in central London on March 10, 2014.

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Britain's Guardian won a court battle Wednesday in its efforts to disclose letters by Prince Charles — a decision the newspaper argues could shed light on whether he has used his position to meddle in politics.

The Guardian has campaigned for letters' release, arguing the government failed to show reasonable grounds for them to be blocked.

The Court of Appeal ruling came after Attorney General Dominic Grieve refused to let the public see Charles' correspondence with seven U.K. government departments. Grieve had argued that the particularly frank letters reflect the personal views of Charles, who is first in line to the throne.

The fear is Britons may not find Charles to be politically neutral — as a king must be — and the monarchy would be undermined.

The Guardian welcomed the ruling.

"The public has a right to know if the heir to the throne is advocating policy or promoting causes to government ministers," it said in a statement.

Grieve's office will appeal the matter to the Supreme Court.

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