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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 14:52 GMT
Paper defends Charles revelations
Prince Charles
Prince Charles claims eight diaries were copied
Prince Charles cannot complain about his journals being published because he does not shy away from airing political views, the High Court has been told.

The claim came from Mark Warby QC who is representing the Mail on Sunday, which printed extracts from diaries the prince kept on a visit to Hong Kong.

Charles is suing the paper's owners in an attempt to block publication of further details of his thoughts.

He says copies of eight journals were handed to the paper by his ex-employee.

The Prince of Wales is suing Associated Newspapers for breach of copyright and confidentiality and says he is entitled to the same level of privacy as anyone else.

The action was launched after the Mail on Sunday published comments in November 2005 made by the prince about China's regime.

'Public servant'

Mr Warby told the court the publication of the prince's views were in the public interest.

"This case is about politics, political opinion and the role of the heir to the throne in relation to these issues," he said.

The prince, counsel said, was "not a person who has acted with discretion or reticence" in expressing views on political matters.

It is not open to him to complain when the public is told of the fact he is circulating political opinions and what his opinions are
Mark Warby QC

"These journals are not what he did on his holidays," he added.

"They are records of public events in which he engaged as a public servant.

"We say the nub is the prince's status and conduct. It is not open to him to complain when the public is told of the fact he is circulating political opinions and what his opinions are."

Mr Warby said there was evidence the journals had been circulated to influence opinion and suggested they amounted to an expression of "political hostility".


The lawyer's remarks in court follow the release of a witness statement by Mark Bolland, the prince's private secretary between 1996 and 2002.

Mr Bolland is expected to give evidence for the Mail on Sunday.

The statement contains revelations from the former private secretary about the prince's views.

Mr Bolland said the Prince of Wales viewed himself as a "dissident" working against political opinion.

The documents handed to the paper included a 3,000-word journal the prince titled The Handover of Hong Kong - or The Great Chinese Takeaway.

In extracts about the 1997 Hong Kong handover published in the Mail on Sunday in November 2005, the prince described Chinese officials as "appalling old waxworks".

In another reported extract from the documents, Prince Charles described one ceremony as an "awful Soviet-style" performance and dismissed a speech by then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin as "propaganda".

In his statement, Mr Bolland said the prince did not attend a state banquet thrown by Chinese President Jiang Zemin "as a deliberate snub" as he did not approve of the regime.

But the prince's legal team have denied his absence at the banquet was due to a "boycott".

They say Charles had given copies of his journals to family members, friends and advisers over the last 30 years in envelopes marked private and confidential and does not strive to influence political opinion.


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