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‘Fleet Street legend’ James Whitaker dies aged 71

One of the UK’s top royal-watchers, the former Daily Mirror royal correspondent James Whitaker, has died at the age of 71.

Whitaker became a leading authority on the British monarchy during his 40-year career, not just on the Mirror but also as a TV commentator on royal issues.

Mirror editor 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.”

On Twitter, Daily Mirror columnist Tony Parsons said: