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UK: Prince Charles' 'spider memos' to ministers made public

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By Euronews
UK: Prince Charles' 'spider memos' to ministers made public

Britain’s Prince Charles said UK troops were under-resourced during the Iraq war.

That is according to a letter he penned to former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004.

It is one of 27 letters sent to former ministers in 2004 and 2005, released to the public after a decade of government attempts to block publication.

“I fear that this is just one more example of where our Armed Forces are being asked to do an extremely challenging job (particularly in Iraq) without the necessary resources,” the prince wrote in the letter to Blair.

The Guardian newspaper first requested access to the letters in 2005, but successive governments blocked disclosure.

Under Britain’s unwritten constitution, the monarch should remain politically neutral, and ministers had feared publication could damage the heir-to-the-throne.

However, in March, the Supreme Court agreed a gagging order imposed by the country’s former Attorney General was unlawful and allowed the publication of the letters, nicknamed “black spider memos” because of Charles’ scrawled handwriting, a decision Prime Minister David Cameron called “disappointing.”