The anti-monarchist campaign Republic held a protest inside the grounds of Windsor Castle today to launch their new ‘End Royal Secrets’ drive. The simple banner display was soon stopped by wardens, and armed police were heard being called as the protesters left the grounds. The banner was held in front of the Round Tower, where the Royal Archives are kept.

We interviewed Graham Smith – director of the anti-monarchist campaign, Republic.

Royal correspondence is secret despite their regular communication with elected officials here, and despite the work they do for the country speaking with representatives of other countries all around the world. Files relating to Prince Andrew’s ‘work’ as a Trade Ambassador is sealed until 2065. A financial report is published each year, but they don’t have to declare private financial interests (as MPs are supposed to), and even travel costing under £15,000 is exempt. Costs of security and policing, and costs to local councils organising visits are all outside the realm of Freedom Of Information. In the UK everyone’s will is made public, but again, the Royals have a special arrangement, and Prince Phillip’s will is to remain secret for 90 years.

The new campaign is calling for the Freedom Of Information Act to be applied to the royal family just as it is to any other body receiving large amounts of public funding. They want the Royal Archives to become part of the ordinary National Archives, and they demand that wills are made public in the same manner that everyone else’s are.

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