Tributes pour in for former royal editor James Whitaker

Fellow journalists and royalty have led tributes to the former royal editor of the Daily Mirror, James Whitaker.

The newspaper confirmed that the 71-year-old died on Wednesday following a battle with cancer.

The reporter was legendary in his field, and was renowned worldwide for his exclusive royal coverage. 

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "Those in the Royal Household who knew him were extremely sad to learn of his death."



Current editor of the Daily Mirror Richard Wallace said: "James was a true Fleet Street legend who became famous around the world as a royal reporter.

“His colleagues often joked that at times he appeared grander than the royals themselves - which, of course, he loved.

“Despite the severity of his illness, he never complained or went in for self-pity, but insisted he had a life well lived.

“Our thoughts are with his loving family who - like us all - will miss him terribly."

His son Thomas, who is Director of News at HELLO!, said the family had been touched by the messages of tribute and support, which had included personal phone calls from the Duchess of York shortly before his death.

Thomas said his father had been a pioneer of royal reporting but combined it with "old fashioned journalism, knocking on doors".



Tributes for James Whitaker

  • Journalist Tony Parker - “Goodbye and RIP James Whitaker: Daily Mirror Royalist, Diana watcher, Fleet Street legend and a man of boundless generosity and enthusiasm.”
  • Former Labour press chief Alastair Campbell - "In a profession of big characters, he was one of the biggest."
  • Guardian media commentator Roy Greenslade  - "He was the doyen of the royal reporting pack during the Princess Diana era" 
  • Arthur Edwards, royal photographer at The Sun - "He was a great man and a brilliant reporter."
  • Matt Kelly, Publisher of Mirror Group Digital  - "So sad. James Whitaker, the last of the great royal reporters, is dead. thoughts to his family today."
  • Mirror photographer Kent Gavin - "He was, truly, a legend in his time. He had a great rapport with all the members of the royal family in spite of writing controversial stories sometimes.