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Prince refutes 'self-gagging' claims over committee non-appearance

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The Prince of Wales' office has scotched reports that the Prince 'gagged himself' from talking about architecture, by deciding not to appear before a high-profile parliamentary committee.

A spokesperson for the Prince said that 'nothing was confirmed' regarding the Prince's potential appearance before a DCMS select committee earlier this month.

In a bid to bring to an end growing rumours about the select committee, the spokesperson admitted that there had been 'discussions', about an appearance, but that 'no [formal] plans were made'.

Reports emerged yesterday that the Prince was worried about appearing in public after controversy surrounding his 'black spider' letters, named after the Prince's distinctive handwriting.

These letters, which featured in a High Court battle last month, suggest the Prince regularly corresponds with ministers as a 'political dissident' over matters close to his heart, which famously include architecture and the built environment.

The DCMS cross-parliamentary select committee is currently investigating the future of the government's involvement in heritage matters.

The Prince was at one point rumoured to be appearing before the committee to air his views, but this never came about.

by Rob Sharp

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