A worldwide group of press freedom campaigners has warned the Queen that the proposed Royal Charter on press regulation may harm the Monarchy.
In a strongly worded letter to Her Majesty, they warn that her name would be “taken in vain” if she were to sign a Charter originally devised by politicians.
Writing ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Sri Lanka, the campaigners said the proposed Charter will aid “enemies of press freedom” the world over.
The British government has said a decision on the proposed Charter will be taken by the end of this month.
The letter states: “If the UK moves to control the press through the force of law then it will have a terrifying knock-on effect throughout the Commonwealth and much of the developing world where Britain has a key leadership role.
“The fact that it is being done by Royal Charter …will make it infinitely worse because of the respect in which you personally … are held throughout the world.”
“The actions of Britain’s Parliament will be used as an excuse by those who want to muzzle the press in their own country and stifle the free flow of information – and there are many governments who would love to do so.
“And it is your name, Your Majesty, that will regrettably be taken in vain. ‘If it is good enough for the Queen, it is good enough for us.'”
Signatories to the letter include the World Press Freedom Committee, the International Press Institute, the International Association of Broadcasting, the Inter American Press Association, the World Association of Newspapers, the Magazine Media Association and the Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust.
The industry has proposed its own version of the Royal Charter which would set up a system of regulation independent of politicians.