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Charles Sues Paper Over China Diary

November 19, 2005|From Associated Press

LONDON — Prince Charles took legal action Friday against a British newspaper that published details from his private journal, including his description of Chinese officials as "appalling old waxworks."

The prince's office said it had filed papers with the High Court against Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Mail on Sunday, for breach of confidentiality and copyright.

The heir to the British throne kept the diary while visiting Hong Kong during its 1997 transfer to the Chinese. His journal was titled: "The Handover of Hong Kong, or The Great Chinese Takeaway," a reference to take-out food.

The prince's office, Clarence House, said Charles had sent 11 copies of the journal to friends, and the newspaper had obtained a copy without his permission.

Michael Peat, an aide to Charles, said the newspaper had been warned repeatedly not to publish the excerpts.

In a statement, the Mail on Sunday said the story did not involve any breach of copyright or confidentiality. It said the journal was widely distributed.

Charles recounted a ceremony he attended with then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin: "After my speech, the president detached himself from the group of appalling old waxworks who accompanied him."

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