Prince Andrew travel files won’t be released until 2065

Prince Andrew travel files won’t be released until 2065

“There is also a strong public interest in knowing, for example, who is paying for his security now he is no longer a working royal.”

Lownie describes himself as a monarchist but says “that does not mean I do not believe the royal family should not be subject to scrutiny”.

“We need a much more grown up approach to the release of royal records with the onus on keeping closed only what has to be kept secret to protect national security or on data protection grounds.

“The delays in release create a vacuum for speculation and fantasists; their release would go some way to restoring trust in institutions, not least the monarchy.”

Under normal rules, records transferred to The National Archives at Kew from government departments are kept secret for 20 years. However, special dispensation is awarded to the royal family.

Prince Andrew, 63, was Britain’s special representative for trade and industry envoy for 10 years from 2001.

His controversial tenure ended in 2011 when he was forced to resign after a photograph emerged of the Duke meeting Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York, shortly after the billionaire had been released from jail after serving an 18-month prison sentence for sexual offences.

The Duke had been facing increased scrutiny at the time on account of his “very close” friendship with Saif Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and Tarek Kaituni, a convicted Libyan gun smuggler.

The Foreign Office said information relating to Prince Andrew would be kept from public view until 2065 in a reply to Lownie, dated August 8, 2023.

In the letter, the government states: “Some information is being withheld under Section 37 (Communications with Her Majesty and honours), section 40 (Personal Information) and section 41 Information Provided in Confidence exemptions.”

The Information Rights Unit of the Foreign Office said an exemption to releasing information relating to communications with, or on the behalf of, Her Late Majesty The Queen, was “absolute”.


“We do not therefore have to apply the public interest test,” the letter stated.

The Telegraph, London

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