Published 26 November 2002

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS ISSUED BY THE PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN

The following statement has been authorised by The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duke of Edinburgh regards his correspondence with his family, including his daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, as a private matter. However, following recent media reports that he wrote insulting letters to the Princess, he has reluctantly decided that he must publicly correct these allegations.

The original letters sent by Prince Philip to the Princess have apparently been lost, but he kept copies of his letters to her and he also has the original replies from the Princess.

He started the correspondence in June 1992 in a friendly attempt to resolve a number of family issues which arose at the time leading up to the official separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales in December of that year.

Prince Philip wishes to make it clear that at no point did he ever use the insulting terms described in the media reports, nor that he was curt or unfeeling in what he wrote.

He regards the suggestion that he used such derogatory terms as a gross misrepresentation of his relations with his daughter-in-law and hurtful to his grandsons.

Prince Philip will continue to treat his letters to the Princess, and her replies, as a personal matter and he has no intention of making this correspondence public for the sake of refuting these reports.