The Royal Forums Coat of Arms

Go Back   The Royal Forums > Reigning Houses > British Royals

Join The Royal Forums Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
  #1  
Old 10-31-2007, 12:15 PM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Posts: 326
Media blackout 1936 v. today

The current court order that is preventing the British media from revealing the identity of the person connected to the blackmail case -- while the rest of the world's media is publishing the allegations -- is reminding me of the British media blackout that took place when Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson were dating. I think it was a similar situation in that media outside Britain were reporting it openly, while the British press kept quiet.

Without prompting any further speculation about the present blackmail victim -- if necessary, maybe we should refer to this person Harry Potter-style as "He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named" or "Lord Voldemort" -- I'm curious if anyone is aware of other royal matters that were kept quiet in Britain and made public elsewhere.

Is it a matter of policy or law that the British media don't refer to royals involved in legal cases or is this present situation just a matter of an alleged victim's identity not being revealed publicly? I thought I remembered reading that the 1936 blackout was a gentlemen's agreement between the Palace and Lord Beaverbrook, but maybe it was more "official" than I'm recalling.

Does anyone know what kinds of punishment or penalties would British media organizations that broke the gag order face? I saw something yesterday suggesting that the U.S.-based Fox News could face some kind of sanctions for broadcasting "Lord Voldemort's" identity, because its U.S. show is broadcast via satellite to the UK.

Any thoughts?

(And, please be sure to respect the moderators' decision to avoid referring to the identity of any prospective "Lord Voldemort" until/unless this person goes public. At this point, the identity really isn't all that significant to my questions anyway.)

Thanks,
kal
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-31-2007, 12:28 PM
Imperial Majesty
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: ***, United States
Posts: 16,897
One major difference is that in 1936 the press silence was voluntary. There wasn't any criminal activity, or allegation of criminal activity, involved or any court-ordered gag on the press; as you said, there was a gentlemen's agreement among the owners of the newspapers and the government to maintain silence. If it wasn't for a legal requirement in the current case, I'm sure the press would have been naming names from the start.

I don't think the anonymity provision in this case is peculiar to members of the royal family or their relations; it's just that when a well-known person is involved, the anonymity provision is that much more relevant and also that much harder to maintain in this day and age of international media.
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-31-2007, 02:44 PM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Posts: 326
I agree with you about the media being willing and eager to break their silence, if not for the court order, although the U.S. and Canadian media also have been VERY quiet about the whole thing and they aren't (in theory) under the same order.

Not even Fox News, the U.S. network that revealed Lord Voldemort's identity the other day, has anything on its website about story (as of midday Wednesday). On the other hand, the media in Australia and New Zealand are running the story. Go figure...

It's kind of ironic that back in 1936, the British public really did have at least some "need to know" what their king was up to, while, arguably, other than the fact that Lord Voldemort is a public figure, there's really no public interest at stake, apart from the allegations of a crime having been committed.

I wonder how much of the difference between then and now is also related to the public's "taste" changing over time. In 1936, a king having an affair with a divorcee was pretty hot stuff, but today it would barely rise to the level of "scandal," particularly if both parties were unmarried at the time. Revealing that information back in the 30s could well have affected the outcome -- in either direction.

The current blackmail case also reminds me of another scandal from the 1930s that enjoyed a media "blackout," the Haijby Affair involving Gustav V of Sweden. In that case, a blackmailer threatened to go public with claims that Gustav had molested him and that they carried on an affair for years after. Rather than face a media frenzy, the Swedish royal house agreed to pay the guy hush money.

About 20 years after the court started paying Haijby (and decades after the initial incident supposedly took place), a Swedish reporter broke the "blackout" on the story. The royal court acknowledged that it had been paying off Haijby, and the government eventually tried Haijby for blackmail. The king always maintained that Haijby's story was a complete fabrication -- and the facts seem to be on his side -- while Haijby, who died in prison years later, went to his grave claiming it was true.

From what I've read about the matter, the public was far more scandalized by the way the story was kept quiet and the blackmailer was paid off than they were by the sordid claims.

In that sense, Lord Voldemort might be smart to just reveal himself, rather than letting the media build this into something even bigger.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-31-2007, 03:15 PM
iowabelle's Avatar
Royal Highness
Royal Blogger, TRF Author
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Des Moines, United States
Posts: 2,405
I always think of the Duke of Wellington's response to Harriette Wilson's attempt to blackmail him: "Publish and be damned."

It all blows over eventually, although you might have to go through a painful period. Just look at Sarah Ferguson, she's still here (and very few people remember her scandals now).
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-31-2007, 03:47 PM
Imperial Majesty
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: ***, United States
Posts: 16,897
Even if anonymity in a case like this is standard practice, it does somewhat give the impression that - erm - Lord Voldemort :voldemort: is trading on his royal connections. Since his name is out there on the internet, this truly seems to be the worst of all worlds: people can find his identity without a lot of effort, he's giving the impression of using his royal connections to get special treatment (even though that isn't the case), and the secrecy will be giving plenty of ammunition to tabloid journalists to claim that as long as he isn't standing up and saying this is all a malicious fabrication, there may be something to it.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-31-2007, 03:55 PM
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas Fort Worth, United States
Posts: 211
What is the purpose of the gag order then? The UK has how many million of internet users? It's not like that this person's identity will be unknown in the UK from international reporting, is it? I fail to see what is being gained.

I am thinking it is superficial face saving and keeping up appearances and failing miserably at it and that is it.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-31-2007, 06:05 PM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Posts: 326
If Lord Voldemort were one of my PR clients -- and he isn't, but he can PM me if he needs help – I’d tell him that it’s time to grab hold of this story and get his message out.

He needs start positioning himself as the victim of a crime, rather than a guilty party in a sex scandal: “Lady Voldemort and I appreciate the outpouring of public interest in this case, but as it is still before the court, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this time. We also appreciate the court’s efforts to shield the victims in this matter, just as it does in any such case. We believe that justice will prevail, and we are confident that those who have attempted to extort through lies and falsehoods will be held to account.”

Then, he’s got to deploy his friends and handlers to start hammering the message that he’s the victim of a blackmailer and that this case is about extortion, not the legality or immorality of whatever acts the blackmailer attributes to Lord Voldemort.

The people speaking on his behalf should have a list of positive things to say: This is a family man who refused to be bullied, even at the risk of ridiculous things being said about him. He wasn’t afraid to bring this case to court because he has nothing to hide. Even the Queen has expressed support for him, etc.

If he can get his message out fast and strong, he’ll deflect a lot of what the blackmailer says in court – whether or not it’s true – because Lord Voldemort’s entire message will be “I’m the victim, I’m not on trial.”

Of course, regardless of what comes out or whether it’s true, Lord Voldemort’s name will be associated with “sex scandal.” He needs to start fixing this as soon as the case is over. I’d tell him to take an interest in “victims’ rights,” either by becoming patron to an existing group or launching his own. A few months after the case ends, he should give an interview or speech announcing his new organization (or patronage), and explaining that being the victim of a crime was an eye-opening experience to him, adding that when he realized that he, a member of the royal family, could be sullied this way, it brought him a new understanding of how victims without his resources can have their lives destroyed.

But, the royal family is big on “never complain, never explain,” so we’ll see if any of it comes to pass.

Kal
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-31-2007, 06:09 PM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Posts: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondBrg View Post
What is the purpose of the gag order then? The UK has how many million of internet users? It's not like that this person's identity will be unknown in the UK from international reporting, is it? I fail to see what is being gained.
At this point, nothing. But, it's not unusual for courts to shield possible victims, especially if a case has sexual overtones. Remember during the William Kennedy Smith rape trial how the networks all put the "blue circle" over the alleged victim's face to protect her identity?

Plus, there's not much a British judge can do except enjoin British media -- courts don't have much power to reach beyond their jurisdictions.

kal
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-01-2007, 07:59 AM
Warren's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 15,299
Here's a question... (and I don't know the answer): If M'Lord broke the court-ordered gag himself by making a public statement, would he be in contempt of court? Does the court's gag order cover just the media, or does it also enjoin all parties to the case to silence?
__________________
Seeking information? Check out the extensive Royal A-Z
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-01-2007, 10:35 AM
pinkie40's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 423
I keep thinking about American presidents and their relatives and their actions within their marriages and private lives....So I trust that Her Majesty allows some lattitude for her family too. There still has to be some agreement with the press here in the 21st century on how much is reported to the public...and has provided a huge task for the "spin doctors"...

I have a brother-in-law inovled affliated with a major US news agency for over 20 years now and he is surprised how negotiations are still an option among the powerful and the press.

What differentiates the situation with the current Lord Voldemort situation is the way the Lord handled it by going directly to the police. That might have had some merit as to what can and cannot be released officially to the public as it is still and ongoing case subject to further investigation prior to a formal trial.

The "scandal" of 1936 was not an issue that involved a criminal act...
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-01-2007, 11:23 AM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arcadia, United States
Posts: 451
Is there a real Lord Voldemort? There is fictional character form Harry Potter with that name.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-01-2007, 02:12 PM
Imperial Majesty
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: ***, United States
Posts: 16,897
There isn't a real Lord Voldemort (at least I hope there isn't!); this paragraph from the first post of the thread might explain why the name is being used.

"Without prompting any further speculation about the present blackmail victim -- if necessary, maybe we should refer to this person Harry Potter-style as "He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named" or "Lord Voldemort" -- I'm curious if anyone is aware of other royal matters that were kept quiet in Britain and made public elsewhere."
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-01-2007, 09:48 PM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Posts: 326
Elspeth, you're way more mature than I am. I was going to answer something like, "Yes, he's the second some of the Duke of Earl. One day he'll assume the title, Count Basie."
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-01-2007, 09:56 PM
Imperial Majesty
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: ***, United States
Posts: 16,897
And here's me thinking his dad was called Tom Riddle...
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:29 PM
pinkie40's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dallas, United States
Posts: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
There isn't a real Lord Voldemort (at least I hope there isn't!); this paragraph from the first post of the thread might explain why the name is being used.

"Without prompting any further speculation about the present blackmail victim -- if necessary, maybe we should refer to this person Harry Potter-style as "He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named" or "Lord Voldemort" -- I'm curious if anyone is aware of other royal matters that were kept quiet in Britain and made public elsewhere."
Some books regarding the royal family have been made available for purchase here in the states and not in UK, for instance, "The Housekeeper's Diary" by Wendy Barry...
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-03-2007, 11:05 PM
Imperial Majesty
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: ***, United States
Posts: 16,897
I wonder if they're still trying to enforce this sort of gag on employees now it's so easy for people in Britain to buy books on non-British websites like Amazon and eBay. Considering all the leaking that's been going on over the last few years, it'd look rather bad for the royals to start prosecuting ex-employees for writing memoirs nowadays.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-05-2007, 10:53 AM
Nobility
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington, D.C., United States
Posts: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I wonder if they're still trying to enforce this sort of gag on employees now it's so easy for people in Britain to buy books on non-British websites like Amazon and eBay. Considering all the leaking that's been going on over the last few years, it'd look rather bad for the royals to start prosecuting ex-employees for writing memoirs nowadays.
I don't think it's just in Britain -- I read something about a Danish court quashing a book by one of Prince Frederik's bodyguards just a few weeks ago. IIRC, the book still may come out in a few months, though.

BTW, Monsters and Critics ran a story this morning that the Prince's Trust once gave a £1,500 loan and a £1,000 grant to the guy accused in the present blackmailing case. The guy used it to buy buckets so he could start his own carwash.

(I know that things are expensive in London -- and I'm never good at doing exchange-rate math -- but £2,500-worth of buckets would sound like a helluva lot of buckets to me...)

For those playing along at home, the fact that the Prince's Trust confirmed this story suggests that you can probably now cross Prince Charles off your list of potential "Lord Voldemorts."
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-05-2007, 06:17 PM
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,029
A chat show host in the U.K. recently manipulated his audience into shouting out the name of the person in question. Most people do know who it is and he/she's silence is starting to look like guilt, but then, maybe they are guilty.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-05-2007, 06:20 PM
BeatrixFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: London, United Kingdom
Posts: 6,843
Well this is fairly open and shut. The video will be viewed and if the Royal in question is there, he's there. As to guilt, no criminal offence has taken place on the RFs part unless the Royal is seen taking cocaine which apparantly isn't the case, rather it's the aide who's taking the cocaine. The Royal simply took part in a sexual act which isn't illegal.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-05-2007, 06:32 PM
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,029
When I say "guilt" I don't necessarily mean in terms of criminal activity I mean in terms of the accusations of sexual activity being true and their impact on that person's personal life. It has been alledged in some quarters that the sexual activity was of a same sex nature so if this person is married and these accusations are true that would be even more devastating for his/her marraige and for their own personal reputation as this person may not have portrayed themselves as having gay tendancies in the past and would not want people to think this was the case.

P.S. I wonder if he/she will still attend the Diamond Wedding Service at Westminster Abbey even if their identity has not been formally revealed at that point as almost everyone in the Abbey and those watching on T.V. will know who the person is and it will take the emphasis off the Queen and Prince Phillip's big day.
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
abdication, fleet street, scandals, tabloid press


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
King George V (1865-1936) elenaris British Royal History 92 07-27-2014 08:26 PM
King George VI (1895-1952) gaoshan1021 British Royal History 137 02-12-2014 09:08 PM
The Windsors, the Media, and tell-all Books ysbel British Royals 27 05-24-2012 01:07 PM
The Monarchy And The Media Alexandria Royal House of Norway 12 04-08-2004 04:06 PM




Additional Links
Popular Tags
birth charlene chris o'neill crown prince frederik crown prince haakon crown princess letizia crown princess mary crown princess mette-marit crown princess victoria current events diana fashion grand duchess maria teresa grand duke henri hohenzollern infanta sofia jordan king abdullah ii king albert ii king carl xvi gustav king felipe king felipe vi king harald king juan carlos king philippe king willem-alexander luxembourg ottoman pieter van vollenhoven pom pregnancy president komorowski prince albert prince albert ii prince carl philip prince constantijn prince felipe prince floris prince laurent prince maurits prince pieter-christiaan princess princess alexia (2005 -) princess anita princess ariane princess beatrix princess catharina-amalia princess charlene princess claire princess laurentien princess letizia princess mabel princess madeleine princess margriet princess marie princess marilene princess mary queen letizia queen mathilde queen maxima queen paola queen rania queen silvia queen sofia royal russia spain state visit wedding william


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:54 AM.

Social Knowledge Networks

eXTReMe Tracker
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014
Jelsoft Enterprises

Royal News Delivered to your Email!

You can get the latest Royal News right in your inbox.

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]