[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 01:02 GMT
Mixed reaction to royal statement
Prince Charles
Prince Charles issued the statement through his private secretary
There has been a mixed reaction among royal commentators to Sir Michael Peat and Clarence House's denial of an unspecified allegation about Prince Charles.

Former royal spokesman, Dickie Arbiter, told BBC News 24 Sir Michael had been "brave" in making the statement, but had gone too far in what he said about the allegation's source.

He said: "Michael Peat was particularly brave in coming out and making the statement that he did make.

"He wouldn't have done it without the agreement of the Prince of Wales. Having done that he was extremely measured and talked about the allegation."

He added: "He went a bit far in fingering the initiator of these allegations as being unwell because now we've got allegations about allegations about allegations."

He went a bit far in fingering the initiator of these allegations as being unwell because now we've got allegations about allegations about allegations
Dickie Arbiter
Former Royal spokesman

An injunction was served against the Mail on Sunday last weekend, banning it from publishing the allegation.

Two days later the Guardian was also banned from publishing the name of the royal servant who was behind the injunction.

It successfully challenged that injunction on Thursday, saying it had a right to publish the name - Michael Fawcett - but not the allegation.

Revelation possibility

The Mail on Sunday will return to court on Friday to challenge the injunction against it.

Mr Arbiter said there was no doubt the story would not go away and said that despite the injunction, there was still the possibility of a revelation on the internet.

He said the story surrounding the allegation and injunctions was "gathering legs and gathering oxygen".

The allegations are so vile someone should put something in the public arena to counter that
Penny Junor
Royal biographer
He added: "We've only seen the tip of the iceberg there will be more to come."

He later told Sky News he thought it had been a mistake to release the statement.

"Given the same scenario I would have maintained a dignified silence, this should be nothing to do with them."

'Dignified'

Royal historian Hugo Vickers told the BBC that Sir Michael's statement had been "dignified" and a "very good idea" to minimise the "nonsense" that was circulating at the moment.

Mr Vickers said the progress of the affair would depend on whether there was court action by the Mail on Sunday on Friday.

Royal biographer Penny Junor told Sky News she thought it was quite sensible for Sir Michael to issue some kind of statement.

"The allegations are so vile someone should put something in the public arena to counter that.

"They were made by a man who was an alcoholic depressive and was unwell at the time he made the allegations.

"I find them offensive and extraordinary and I think it was right somebody put something into the public arena saying this is not true."




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific