Queen's first complaint to press regulator is upheld

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The Independent Online
The Queen's first complaint to the press regulator - about a survey which claimed that her personal worth was pounds 2.2bn - has been upheld, the Press Complaints Commission reveals in a report published today.

Charles Anson, the Queen's press secretary, complained that the analysis of her wealth in a survey of "The Rich 500" in Business Age magazine last September was misleading and inaccurate. The magazine had ranked the Queen as the richest person in Britain, despite placing her 72nd with pounds 158m in 1994, after reanalysing the assets it believed she owned personally. Possessions which clearly belonged to her included racehorses, stocks, bonds and bank deposits. But the new additions included some of the art treasures, jewellery and palaces owned by the Crown.

In its judgement, the Press Complaints Commission - whose director, Mark Bolland, is shortly to become the Prince of Wales's press secretary - accepted that there were complicated legal and factual issues which could be the subject of legitimate argument. But the magazine had not clearly explained the financial breakdown of the pounds 2.2bn figure and it should not have presented "purely speculative numbers as established facts".

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