It was a very different age. There was no internet, TV was in its infancy, the BBC was very limited as to what it could broadcast as news due to the influence of Harmsworth and Beaverbrook. You only have to look at the abdication crisis. Everyone and his uncle knew about Edward and Mrs Simpson in the US but nobody in the UK apart from the insiders knew a thing until the crisis broke about a week before the actual abdication.
I know this is off topic but, with regard to the secrets of the Royal Family, this media blackout pertains. No one thinks the full truth about Princess Diana's death has been revealed, Princess Margaret's excesses weren't fully revealed until after she died and there's probably some facts about Prince Philip that will come out after he passes away.
NB: I don't think this is a wholly bad thing, so long as it's just confined to the Head of State and his/her immediate family.
The press feeds us sport, entertainment, cod sociology and whatever genuine news that the establishment allows. Following Leveson and the expenses scandal, the control of information-release will get even tighter.
I don't see Ed Miliband as being any champion of open information ... not after he refused to reveal to Martha Kearney how much his proposed new policies would cost. Does anyone ever watch an interview with him and come away thinking "well there's a straight-talking trustworthy bloke" ?