I approached the latest series of Netflix’s The Crown with a certain anticipation, even excitement. Episode eight, I had been warned, is all about the great and unprecedented bust-up between the Queen and the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, revealed in a sensational front-page story that reverberated around the world in July 1986: “Queen dismayed by ‘uncaring’ Thatcher.”
I was the Sunday Times editor who wrote the headline and ran the story — and who put his job on the line in doing so. I was widely reviled for publishing a story “without foundation” (copyright: Buckingham Palace) and inundated with demands for my resignation and readers’ requests to cancel their subscriptions.
I was eventually vindicated when the source became known and realisation slowly dawned: it was