A joint statement had been issued by the royal households criticising the BBC for giving credibility to “overblown and unfounded claims”. The complaint sent from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace, is remembered in a new documentary on William and Harry’s relationship with the media.
Presented by Amol Rajan, The Princes And The Press includes suggestions of royal sources speaking to journalists behind the scenes, with the first of two parts airing on Monday. Telling a story on “one of the most dramatic periods in modern royal history”, the show depicts how William and Harry’s relationship with the media changed following the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
In response to the reporting documented at the time, the royal households gave a joint statement to the BBC, shown at the end of the programme. The statement read that “a free, responsible, and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy. However, too often it is overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources that are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.”
Also in the programme, a lawyer for Meghan responded to the 2018 reports on the alleged treatment she received from palace staff. Earlier this year, Buckingham Palace began investigating claims of bullying after The Times reported that alleged bullying had taken place. According to their reports, the paper reported that the duchess allegedly drove out two personal assistants and “humiliated” royal staff on several occasions, which she denies.
Speaking to Rajan in the documentary, Jenny Afia of Schillings law firm said, “Those stories were false. This narrative that no one can work for the Duchess of Sussex, she was too difficult and demanding as a boss and everyone had to leave, it’s just not true”.
Meanwhile, a private investigator has apologised in the programme for targeting Harry’s ex-girlfriend’s phone, and admitting he helped “rob” the duke of his youth. PI, Gavin Burrows describes the culture of media in the 2000s as “ruthless”, when Chelsy Davy’s phone had been under surveillance.
When Burrows began working for the now defunct News Of The World in 2000, he claims there was much greater interest in Harry than his brother. The P.I. also claims that editors had told him that the hunger for royal scandals remained, and “Harry had basically become the new Diana”.
Following the airing of the programme, The Sun claimed that William had banned aides from briefing against members of the royal family. Following coverage of the split of his parents, the paper claims William is “clear” that he does not want any aide to speak on the subject of other households.
The second part of the documentary is due to air on November 29th and will examine the period of the royal family from 2018 to 2021.