The Prince of Wales's journal that sparked his privacy action against a newspaper was made public yesterday - revealing his offbeat humour and waspish political observations.
He is trying to stop the Mail on Sunday publishing more of the journals he records during his state duties, which he says were copied by a "disloyal" former employee.
But one of the eight journals in the hands of the newspaper - extracts from which have already been published - was released yesterday by the Prince's lawyers after applications by the Press.
The Prince is seeking a summary judgment - a ruling without a full trial - over his claim for breaches of confidentiality and copyright. He also wants the journals returned.
He had originally intended to seek orders from the High Court banning publication of crucial evidence put before Mr Justice Blackburne from former aide Mark Bolland, suggesting that the Prince saw himself as a political "dissident".
The Prince's lawyers later relaxed their opposition and allowed publication, and they said they had no objections to release of the journal.
The 3,000-word document, which he called The Handover of Hong Kong or The Great Chinese Takeaway, is seen by Royal watchers as constitutionally incorrect but a document likely to endear him to the general public.
The full journal was made public for the first time, although extracts were published by the Mail on Sunday in November.
It was said to have been written on the 14-hour flight to Heathrow on his way home from Hong Kong from the handover to China in 1997.
In it he is scathing about the Chinese leadership and their army and complimentary about Tony Blair, but with a sting in the tail.
"He also gives the impression of listening to what one says, which I find astonishing," writes the Prince.
The journal begins with his outward journey aboard a British Airways 747 with a large party of official representatives from Britain.
He said he found himself and his staff "on the top deck in what is normally club class".
"It took me some time to realise that this was not first class(!) although it puzzled me as to why the seat seemed so uncomfortable."
His journal describes how he landed in a hot and humid Hong Kong and was "delivered" to the Royal Yacht Britannia which was tied up alongside the old naval base and near the Prince of Wales building "I must have named in the 1980s".
Following in brackets is "Goodness only knows what the Chinese would have renamed it by now".
He said it was wonderful to be aboard Britannia but this was "tinged with an overwhelming sadness" as this was to be the last time on an overseas visit because the yacht was being "ex-commissioned".
He said there was "a kind of exasperated sadness experienced by all and sundry" about the decision.
He said that at another reception aboard Britannia everyone he spoke to was being "thoroughly optimistic" about the future for Hong Kong.
"But in the background was the sneaking worry about creeping corruption and the gradual undermining of Hong Kong's greatest asset - the rule of law."
He said the Chinese Army was another concern because they were paid so badly that there may be "irresistible temptations to intimidate or threaten local people when the soldiers discover that a glass of beer costs about as much as their weekly salary".
At another dinner aboard the yacht, he said Ms Albright was "good value - seemed to be well disposed towards the UK".
"We had a good talk about Islam and about the unhelpful US attitude to global warming at the New York summit earlier in the month."
Of Mr Blair, he said: "He is a most enjoyable person to talk to - perhaps partly due to his being younger than me."
He referred to Chris Patten, former Governor of Hong Kong, coming on board and looking "incredibly sad".
Speaking of his "moving speech" later, the Prince said: "I ended up with a lump in my throat and was then completely finished off by the playing of Elgar's Nimrod Variations immediately afterwards."
The Prince returns to the Royal Yacht for a bath after the speech and then attends an enormous banquet for 4,000 people at the Convention Centre.
"I sat next to the Chinese Foreign Minister who must have had considerable difficulty knowing what to make of me," he said.
"After a lot of toasting we left the dinner and just waited around until we could go through the ridiculous rigma-role of meeting the Chinese President Tiang Zemin without loss of face to either side."
The hearing continues.