Royal journalists are usually pretty toadying towards their subjects. Whilst opinion polls show at least a third of the British public in favour of abolishing the monarchy, hard questions are rarely bowled in the direction of any except the most minor of royals.
One occasional exception to this, ironically, was News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, who last week was jailed for four months for the illegal interception of telephone calls within the royal household.
We should take a moment to consider if Mr Goodman is really the only person in the world of journalism who would do such a thing (the answer surely is no) and then ask whether such telephone interference goes on in other walks of life - business, sport and politics are all likely to see similar behaviour.
It is also the case that journalists will routinely pay police officers for information and/or access to the Police National Computer records. At the News of the World in recent years two journalists have been registered police informers - crime correspondents Neville Thurlbeck and Mazher Mahmood. The information flow in their cases is unlikely to have been one way. In this background, Goodman's crime was clearly to get caught.
For us Republicans though, Goodman did leave us one great, nay classic article on the hypocrisy of our "green" Prince Charles. His 6 July 2003 piece "Inside House of Whinger" included no less than 20 great examples of the profligacy and sheer stupidity of the man who would be King. Whilst my personal favourite is the claim that ex-valet Michael Fawcett had to hold the bottle when Charles was required to give a urine sample, the most famous is the case of the royal chauffeur ordered to drive all the way to Budapest so Charles could briefly use his favourite Bentley whilst on a flying visit to the city. A classic case of do as I say, not do as I do.
Over three years after this classic article, Goodman fell from grace in the most spectacular manner. Prince Charles no doubt was roaring with laughter. I suspect in the long term however, the joke is on us.....