Queen’’s hubby seeks privacy law for the Royal Family

August 7th, 2008 - 6:51 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 7 (ANI): After being in the limelight for quite sometime, British Royal Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has now sought a privacy law to protect members of the Royal Family.
Taking a lead from the Max Mosley sex case, the Duke took action over an alleged invasion of privacy related to the family’’s personal health, and hopes to prevent the media from reporting details of the royals” private lives.
To strengthen his case, the Duke seized on an “untrue” report in the Evening Standard newspaper that he had “prostate cancer” to launch a test case against the British media via the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).
“The Duke of Edinburgh has authorised us to confirm that the claim made by the Evening Standard that he has received a diagnosis of prostate cancer is untrue. We believe there has been a serious breach of the Duke of Edinburgh’’s right to privacy and we will be taking this issue to the Press Complaints Commission,” Daily Telegraph quoted a statement, the palace had written.
Even though the complaint centres on the Duke’’s right to keep his medical details confidential, the Daily Telegraph has learnt that the action is being seen as a test case by other members of the Royal Family.
An authoritative source close to the Royal Family told the Daily Telegraph that they had a right to privacy.
“It is all there in the Human Rights Act which took effect eight years ago. But the Max Mosley ruling made the public interest case clear. It made clear that even they [the royals] have a right to privacy,” the source said.
It will have profound implications for the way the media reports the House of Windsor, if the PCC rules in favour of the Duke.
If the ruling comes back in favour of the Duke, it would mean a ban on the media reporting any activities the royals hold in private places, unless there is a strong public interest argument.
“Everyone is entitled to respect for his or private and family life, home, health and correspondence,” the Duke stated.
Even if the newspaper report about the prostate cancer had been correct the Duke would have made the same complaint.
“What public interest is there in knowing whether the Duke of Edinburgh has prostate cancer?” the royal source added.
Challenged whether it would be legitimate to write stories about the health of the Queen, he said that she was a different matter altogether.
“As head of state, she is in a different league. There would be a public interest. But the law is now clear: privacy about personal health also applies to members of the Royal Family. Public interest is not necessarily about what the public is interested in; it should be about exposing crime or hypocrisy,” he added.
The Duke of Edinburgh decided to go to the PCC, rather than sue in the High Court, because litigation would have been expensive, drawn out, and would have involved details of his medical records being made public. (ANI)

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