The British queen's former press secretary said news coverage of the royal family is generally inaccurate and irresponsible.

"After 10 very happy months of not having to deal with the press, I find the level of accuracy and responsibility in most royal reporting is still lamentable," said Michael Shea, who resigned last year after nine years with Buckingham Palace to become a spokesman for Hanson PLC, a private company.In remarks this week to the Media Society, an association of journalists, Shea said some stories printed about the royal family are "pure invention."

Editors of several major tabloids, the newspapers most often accused of sensationalism, refused to comment on Shea's remarks.