05 December 2003

Queen bans Mirror from palace

One of the major problems with our constitution is the inevitable confusion between the Queen as an individual and the Queen as sovereign. The Queen is now barring the Mirror Newspaper from state functions as a result of a report it made about her and her family's private life.

A Mirror reporter had secured a job working as a footman at Buckingham Palace prior to the visit of President Bush. Not only was this highly embarrassing from a security viewpoint, the journalist also gave intimate details of life at Buck House and Windsor Castle including the fact that:
  • Prince Andrew is universally detested, he shouts "fuck off" at staff when they come into his room in the morning, and gets upset if they don't bow low enough when he emerges from his Aston Martin.
  • Prince Edward has teddy bears on his bed
  • the Queen uses "Tupperware"
The Queen later gained an injunction to stop further publication of the Mirror journalist's reports and both parties came to a settlement.

However, the Queen has now blocked the Mirror from sending journalists to public events at the palace.

A journalist who arrived at the palace to cover David Beckham's OBE was refused entry.

Asked if the Beckham exclusion was revenge for the Mirror story, the Queen's press secretary Penny Russell-Smith replied: "I think that would be a logical assumption, yes."

In effect the Queen is taking revenge for the Mirror's reports on her personal life, by blocking access to events that are carried out by her as Head of State.

These are public events paid for by public money. It is not for the Queen to decide who attends, especially not if that decision is based on her personal problems. Once again the Queen is treating this country like her personal property.

The Mirror - Queen Bans Mirror from Palace
The Mirror - Our Man in the Castle: Still Wide Open
The Mirror - Our Man in the Palace: My Life as a Footman