It's time to end royal secrecy.

The royals are very secretive. They persuaded the government to exempt the monarchy from freedom of information laws. They keep their wills hidden for decades after one of them dies - while everyone else's is made public. They lobby politicians and government officials - and voters have no idea what they're saying or the impact it has. 

Royal finance reports don't tell the whole picture either, with details of travel kept hidden away and costs covered by police, local authorities and local communities going largely unreported. 

No other public body has this level of secrecy, other than the security services.



Tens of thousands of official documents from the UK and around the Commonwealth are hidden away in the royal 'family' archive, making sure the public can't see what the late Queen, Charles and the rest of the family have been up to. 

Even Prince Andrew is protected, the government refusing to release documents relating to his time as trade ambassador for decades to come.

No other public body has this level of secrecy, other than the security services.

The obvious question is, "what have they got to hide?" Our demand must be, "end royal secrecy."


Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act came into force in 2005. It says that anyone can request information and records held by any public body. There are of course some exemptions, to protect national security and the safety of individuals. But whether it's documents held by the prime minister's office or records stored in your local town hall, you have a right to ask to see it. 

The monarchy is excluded entirely from this law. You have no right to ask the royal household for any documents or information. That's our head of state, the most public of public authorities, totally exempt from freedom of information law. You don't have the right to know anything about what they're doing, or what they're spending.

Any letters, emails or documents being passed between government and other public bodies and the royals are also exempt. So if Charles or William are trying to influence government policy, whether on health, the environment or the military, you have no right to know about it.

What is it they are hiding? We believe it includes:

  • Letters and emails to ministers, demanding exemptions from numerous laws. We know they get exemptions, including from race discrimination and environmental protection laws.
  • Letters and emails lobbying ministers on a range of policies, from health care to education and planning. 
  • Communications about their relationships with dodgy friends in the Middle East and elsewhere. Are they lobbying on their behalf?
  • Demands for better financial arrangements, such as the introduction of the Sovereign Grant and its huge increase expected over the next two years.
  • Much, much more...

This has to stop. Our head of state and the whole royal household should be covered by the same laws as every other public body. We should know if the royals are trying to influence the government, and we should know what they're spending our money on and why.

OUR DEMAND: Include the royal household in the Freedom of Information Act, without unreasonable exemptions.

JOIN US ON MARCH 13TH, as we uncover more royal interference in legislation in our End Royal Secrecy Digital Action!



Thousands of official documents relating to the royals are stored away in the royal archive in Windsor. The royal archive is considered a private 'family' archive and so the royals control who gets access. Historians are increasingly complaining that access is difficult, with some comparing royal secrecy to that of the CIA or MI5. Yet these are official documents relating to the monarch's role as head of state. They should be in the National Archive and available to anyone who wants to see them.

OUR DEMAND: Transfer all official documents held in the royal archive to the National Archive and make them available to public inspection.


The royals publish a financial report each year. Yet there is plenty of information missing, including the details of travel if a trip costs less than £15,000. You can go a long way for that money, so lots of helicopter flights go un-reported. The royals also fail to include costs of security, costs to local police forces around the country, costs met by local councils when royals visit and the cost of lost revenue from the Duchy of Cornwall and Duchy of Lancaster. Royals also don't need to declare their private financial interests - as MPs do - despite having direct insider access to official information and government ministers.

OUR DEMAND: Royal finances should be managed by a government department and details should be published in full, in line with normal practice.


When people die they usually leave a will. Everyone's will is made public, so that people can see the detail of a person's estate and what they've left to who. This is to ensure the will is dealt with fairly and that the proper taxes are paid. Royal wills are not published. There is no law on this, it is simply done with the collusion of government and the courts. Royal wills are sealed so that we have no way of knowing what is being left to who and what tax is being paid. This habit started at the start of last century, to avoid a scandal over affairs by King Edward VII.

OUR DEMAND: Publish all royal wills in line with normal practice.