A MAJOR campaign has been launched in a bid to get royal family “secrets” exposed.

Anti-monarchy group Republic is aiming to raise £30,000 to power its efforts to transform the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which currently excludes the royal family entirely.

The campaign is also calling for thousands of official documents relating to the royals locked away at Windsor to be placed in the National Archives and for the family’s wills to be made public.

Republic additionally wants financial reports the royals release each year to be published in full. At the moment, a lot of information is missing from them including the details of travel if a trip costs less than £15,000.

Republic CEO Graham Smith believes ending secrecy around the monarchy “is the key” to unlocking consistent majority support for ending it.

READ MORE: Support for the monarchy falls below 50 per cent for the first time

He told The National: “I’m convinced if people saw everything that was going on behind closed doors they’d be horrified and the manner in which they [the royals] keep their secrets is entirely unjust and illegitimate and in some cases.

“We do think that if we end secrecy, we can end the monarchy because people would then see what it really is – a grubby, self-serving institution.”

At the top of Republic’s demands is changing the FOI Act so it includes the monarchy.

Currently, people have no right to ask the royal household for documents or information, while any correspondence between the Government and other public bodies and the family are also exempt.

It emerged last year that documents relating to Prince Andrew’s business trips while he was the UK’s special representative for trade and industry won’t be released by the Foreign Office until 2065, meaning they won’t be made public during his lifetime.

Royal biographer Andrew Lownie – who filed an FOI request on the matter – described the date as “absurd”.

The National: Prince Andrew has been reported to the police

Meanwhile, campaigners are keen to get the royal archive – which is considered a private ‘family’ archive – made public, with historians increasingly complaining access is difficult.

Republic say some academics have compared the secrecy of the royal family to that of MI5 or the CIA.

Journalists and experts have fought tirelessly to break down some of these walls such as Australian biographer Jenny Hocking, who successfully battled for 10 years to get hold of letters between the governor-general Sir John Kerr and the Queen.

Specifically, she wanted information on the 1975 sacking of prime minister Gough Whitlam, who had been re-elected with a majority just 18 months before. It was the first, and remains the only time, a prime minister and government elected by the Australian people had been removed by a governor-general.

Her success means all letters between the monarchy and the governor-general now have to be released.

READ MORE: Scottish independence dream 'dies' without a fresh campaign, group says

Smith said: “We believe there may be some precedent set in that [case] because she won.

“There are official documents in the royal archives which they say is a family archive and therefore is not open to public scrutiny. If we have an idea what’s in there, we can perhaps go to court and try and get them out.

“I’ve had people suggest to me the monarchy is very transparent. I don’t think this side of things gets enough attention. People hide secrets for a reason.

“We know they lobby for exemptions from all sorts of laws including environmental protection, but we have no idea what’s being said by who.

“They do lobby behind closed doors with some success for significant policy changes that affect all of us. Several years ago John Major admitted he would get his mind changed from meetings with the Queen.”

In 2021 it was revealed Prince Philip’s will would be kept under wraps for 90 years, despite the fact everyone else’s will is made public to ensure proper taxes are paid and it is dealt with fairly.

Republic is keen to see this amended given there is now law stopping wills from being published. The group said it is “simply done with the collusion of government and the courts”.

Smith said the money raised by the campaign will allow Republic to work more closely with academics and journalists motivated to get access to royal documents while staging protests and “stunts” to raise awareness.

Republic will also look to add more detail to a report released in December 2015 entitled Royal Secrecy: A Report on Royal Secrecy and Power.

“We want to start collaborating more with academics and journalists and people who have an interest in opening up files so it’s not just an anti-monarchy thing but a general principle of these archives and files need to be open to everyone,” Smith said.

“We want the royal household to be subject to the same laws on secrecy as any other public body, included in the FOI Act without exemptions, official archives moved into the National Archives and not kept in Windsor, and wills published just like they are with everyone else.”