Prince William receives confidential cabinet papers

As with Prince Charles, it is arguable that Prince William is entirely entitled to receive confidential cabinet papers, because he is the son of the heir to the Throne and needs to understand the issues facing the UK before becoming monarch and being asked to sign acts of Parliament concerning those issues.

But the revelation that he receives these documents – which was not included in the response to a Freedom of Information request by the campaigning group Republic – creates a huge amount of concern over who has access to this information, and who does not.

The Duke of Cambridge occasionally receives copies of confidential cabinet documents, the BBC has learned.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said that, as a future heir to the throne, it was “appropriate that he is regularly briefed on government business”.

It was revealed on Tuesday that Prince Charles receives such material routinely – as does the Queen.

Campaign group Republic said there was “no good reason” why Prince William also received the information.

Earlier this week, Republic received four chapters of the Cabinet Office’s “precedent book” – released after a three-year freedom of information battle.

The book shows Prince Charles, the Queen, ministers and a handful of others get papers from cabinet and ministerial committees.

Junior government ministers do not receive such access to the documents.

Source: Prince William receives confidential cabinet papers – BBC News

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29 thoughts on “Prince William receives confidential cabinet papers

  1. daijohn

    Is it the case that if Elizabeth, Charles or William Windsor do not like what they are being shown they can veto legislation yes they can. So what is this grand talk about our much heralded democracy. When The current monarch passes on I say we should elect the next, if we must have one.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Er, no they can’t.
      Any royal attempting to halt legislation by our democratically-elected (don’t laugh) government would trigger a constitutional crisis that would most likely result in the Royals getting the boot.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No: The Royal Prerogatives are a series of historic powers formally exercised by the monarch acting alone, but which in reality are exercised by government ministers. They enable government ministers to rule virtually by decree, without the backing of or consultation with Parliament, in many areas not covered by statute.

        Ministers use the Royal Prerogative, not Royals.

      2. chriskitcher

        But remember she refers to them as “Her Ministers” and consequently she sees these papers before a decision is taken and the public become aware of the contents. I’m sure she expresses her concerns and opposition as does Charlie before they become public knowledge.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        Sure, they can express opinions and offer advice. But when that Bill comes before HM with a demand for a signature, she has to sign.
        The reference to them as her ministers is part and parcel of being the Head of State.
        Didn’t you learn about this at school?

    2. chriskitcher

      When I went to school the royals were just a bunch of dummies to be worshiped and never challenged. However when I wrote to her asking her not to give royal ascent to the Health changes planned by Lansley she wrote back saying that she would never refuse to sign the royal ascent when it had been passed by a democratically elected government. So much use for her then.

      Coming back to reality I’m sure when she see’s Cabinet Papers and has her weekly meeting with Camoron she makes known what she wants and dumb ass Camoron will fall over to oblige, both of them purring as he does it.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        His agenda is not the same as hers, and you would be very foolish indeed if you believed that to be the case.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        He is a short-term Tory MP – his priorities will be keeping Tories in office for the next few years and getting a nice cushy job/pension for himself afterwards.
        She is a long-term queen – her priorities will be maintaining the monarchy for as long as possible.
        These are different sets of values and will conflict. Where they do, he wins.
        That is why people are so unhappy that the monarchy hasn’t done anything to mitigate the Tory excesses of the last few years. She can’t, and they don’t understand.

      3. chriskitcher

        Different sets of values Mike? The one value both hold is to keep the serfs in their place and as we are now seeing they both conspire to see that this is done. Both of them are fixated on saving their own minorities at the expense of the rest of us.

        I still don’t believe that she can’t do anything about it especially when so much of the agenda is set behind closed doors every week between the two of them. As you know things can be done covertly, just look at Charlies interference with Ministers, and remember she has direct to contact with Camoron and the Privy Council.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Sorry, where’s your evidence that the Royals are doing anything about “saving their own minorities at the expense of the rest of us”?
        Again, it seems you misunderstand the purpose of the Privy Council and the weekly meeting with the Prime Minister.

    3. John Gaines

      What’s to worry about? it’s my experience that they appear not to comprehend what they are told, if Cameroon the Stupid had anything to do with it, nobody sane could understand it. All he gives is his congenital lies which actually contradict themselves

      Einstein could not get a detail from anything Cameroon mouths..

  2. Dez

    In the wrong hands this knowledge could be very valuable commercial inside information. One can only assume the same level of security is adopted by all these extra pair of eyes freely viewing information that others are not permitted to see. The more who have access the higher chance of security breach and leakage.

  3. daijohn

    We know that the Monarch has power, she can dissolve parliament and ask who ever she likes to form a new one. Yes I agree it’s not quite as simple as that but it still means she is the most powerful person in the land and the efforts of we mortals can be brushed aside. My point being is – there is no point in having a monarchy, and together with neo-liberal capitalism democracy is pushed to one side.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Again, no – she can only dissolve Parliament if certain conditions have been met, none of which have anything to do with whether she wants it or not. When it comes to forming a new one, she is bound by the advice of the previous prime minister.
      She isn’t the most powerful person in the land – in practise, the prime minister of the day is the most powerful.

      1. daijohn

        Therefore if the anarchic powers the monarchy holds have technically been passed to the PM that makes the PM the de facto unelected president. We’ll pass over the issue of creating a republic and ask, if, as you argue, the royal family has no effective power why do they need to see cabinet papers? It does begin to highlight the ridiculousness of the whole, very expensive, situation.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        They see the cabinet papers for the reasons I’ve explained previously – in the article, I believe.

  4. daijohn

    The case for their privileged access seems to revolve around the idea of some kind of royal training program, ” .. needs to understand the issues facing the UK”. If they are not required to participate other than to give their seal of approval what is the point of the exercise. When we consider the power of the royal family we should understand that they are the heart of The Establishment, the small elite who actually control what is going on.
    Let’s not forget the accounts of the Queen Mother, Mountbatten and Harold Wilson.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They do advise.
      But they cannot count on their advice being taken.
      Bear in mind the difference in approaches I have already mentioned: Royals – long-term. Tories – short-term.

      1. daijohn

        Can we sure about the differentiation between ‘advising’ and lobbying. Yes the Royals are in it for the long, a tory prime minister may not be but his party is “… it is a coalition of the privileged and exists to maintain that privilege..” sounds like someone is preaching to the converted.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        The difference between advising and lobbying is the issue, with regard to Princes Charles and William receiving cabinet papers. As for the rest, I think you’re just splitting hairs now. Your arguments have been answered.

  5. daijohn

    With the executions axe! No point in asking you to join Republic then. Mike I think you have been a tad intellectually lazy on this one.l

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Because I disagreed with you and had the facts to back me up?
      Well, that’s up to you.
      As for joining Republic – never say never. I’m no fan of the Royals; I just won’t attack them without good reason and your information has been poor.

  6. daijohn

    I was going to leave there; But I have to say that every thing that has happened, politically, in the UK since her coronation has been with her agreement because she is the head of State. That includes the disgusting state of the UK’s benefit system.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      … and also the very good state of the system before Thatcher took over in 1979. You are cherry-picking the bad and ignoring the good, and that makes a very poor argument.

  7. daijohn

    Note I said everything that has happened therefore I cannot be cherry-picking. My premise would be that the monarchy will pass anything through on the nod in order to maintain their position (as you have pointed out). In that case providing them with ‘inside information’ seems unnecessary. Which leads to suspicion that there are other agendas being attended to.
    Mike these comments should, I think we kept as brief as possible, where the type of evidence based dissertation you might be asking for would wholly unsuitable

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No – the point is that the Monarch is asked to provide advice and insight on government policy and legislation, therefore the Monarch needs to have all relevant information. This is schoolboy stuff, and it seems you intend to keep nitpicking, despite being unable to find a loophole to justify your viewpoint. I am therefore terminating this comment strand.

  8. Harry

    Eventually Mike, people will come to realise what “Curia Regis” (Parliament) is. It is the Royal Court. Britain is and always was a Monarchy. Mrs Windsor however gave away her Monarchy and committed outright heinous treason signing assent to the Lisbon Treaty, consigning this country to rule by unelected unwanted Commissars.

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