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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Princes and the Press: BBC rejects claims against documentary


The BBC has defended its documentary about Prince Harry and William’s relationships with the press.

The Princes and the Press, according to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and Clarence House, made “overblown and unfounded claims.”

Giving credibility to such claims, they said, was “disappointing.”

According to the BBC, the show is “about how royal journalism is done and features a variety of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry.”

The first episode of the two-part documentary looked at the media’s relationship with the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex.

It examined the tensions between the benefits of publicity and the drawbacks of intrusion for the two royals, as well as how they dealt with the press.

Journalists and commentators described how information was obtained in some cases, whether through leaks or dishonest practises such as phone hacking, and whether reputations were managed or harmed as a result of unofficial briefings.

Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace issued a joint statement on behalf of the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William’s households, which was included at the end of the documentary.

“A free, responsible, and open press is critical to a healthy democracy,” the joint statement said.

“However, too often, overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources are presented as facts, and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, lends credibility to them.”

The documentary examined suggestions for briefings and counter-briefings, as well as whether negative stories about the royals were based on information from people connected to other royal households, using first-hand testimony from correspondents.

The film also demonstrated the extent to which privacy is under threat from a press hungry for stories about the younger royals.

This included claims by private investigator Gavin Burrows, who stated that he now regrets his involvement in chasing newspaper stories about Prince Harry and his ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy.

“As a couple of editors explained to me, Harry had basically become the new Diana,” said Mr Burrow, who is a witness in legal proceedings against news organisations.

His claims are yet to be tested in court and are strongly disputed.

For more on the story, subscribe to the podcast Harry, Meghan and the Media.

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