It is from that office that the Palace and the press first make contact, by way of the invaluable resources of the Press Association, the national news agency. Their Court Correspondent calls at the Palace each day to be given, and to pass on, the basic information about royal engagements and other events, and although there is no doubt about the independence of the agency the links are very close. From the diary of events circulated to the broadcasters and the newspapers come the responses – the flow of questions, the requests for facilities to cover engagements and the follow-up from overseas as well as from within the United Kingdom.
At the same time other journalists will have their own individual agendas and the Press Office will at any one time be dealing with questions on a whole range of topics, many of them in those categories the Palace regards as private. By no means is everything written about the royal family published with the Palace’s blessing! Nor, of course, should that ever be the case.
Quite apart from the reporting of public royal engagements – visits and tours at home and abroad, investitures and other formal occasions in the palaces – the Queen’s life is covered in print, on radio and on television in a variety of ways. Debates about issues, features on, say, her jewellery or clothes, documentaries about her family or herself, series on the workings of the monarchy, biographies, reliable or less so, paintings and photographs, all these are part of the huge portfolio of coverage the Queen has experienced – if not always entirely enjoyed. Can there be anyone alive whose life has been so well documented in so many words and pictures? Yet there is always the demand for more.