Dull content, but the release of Prince Charles ‘Black Spider’ memos is a landmark moment

After a decade of legal battles, the content of the infamous ‘Black Spider Memos’ – letters sent by Prince Charles to former government ministers – turned out to be a damp squib rather than the smoking gun we had hoped for.
But even if Charles seems preoccupied with fish, badgers and herbal remedies in his missives, the fact that these letters have been made public is extremely significant. The release of the 27 documents by the UK government – 14 letters from the Prince of Wales written in 2004 and 2005, ten replies, and three exchanges of correspondence between private secretaries – shows just how powerful the Freedom of Information Act has become.

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