The royal family is really not happy with the ‘unfounded allegations’ of the new documentary – National

The British royal family has come out swinging and accusing the BBC of giving credibility to “exaggerated and unfounded allegations” in a new documentary focusing on the relationship between the media and the younger generation of Windsors.

The princes and the press, the first part of which was broadcast on British television on Monday night, examines how the media has treated the younger royal couple – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William, Kate Middleton) and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry, Meghan Markle) – and the differences in press coverage between the two.

The three royal households – Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House – have called the two-part series “disappointing” and have criticized the BBC for giving “credibility” to the idea that other members of the royal family were leaking harmful information about Sussexes. to the press over the years.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ride in a carriage to attend the annual Trooping the Color Ceremony in London on this file image.

Frank Augstein / Associated Press

“A free, responsible and open press is crucial for a healthy democracy. But all too often, it is exaggerated and unfounded allegations from unnamed sources that are presented as facts, and it is disappointing when someone, including the BBC, gives them credibility, “was the statement, which was broadcast at the end of the program’s broadcast on Monday. .

BBC media editor Amol Rajan spent months putting together interviews for the documentary, which included talking to journalists and private investigators who found themselves becoming part of the royal narrative.

His documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the inappropriate – and in some cases disturbing – internal features that have been kept hidden from the public.

On this Wednesday, 30 August 2017, Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, smile as they arrive at the Memorial Garden at Kensington Palace, London.

On this Wednesday, 30 August 2017, Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, smile as they arrive at the Memorial Garden at Kensington Palace, London.

File / Getty Images

For example, Gavin Burrows, a private detective hired by the now defunct News of the World, describes how he worked “ruthlessly” to access the medical records of one of Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriends in an attempt to determine if she had ever had an STI or abortion.

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“I was basically part of a group of people who robbed (Harry) of his normal teenage years,” he tells the camera.

Many of the interviewed journalists claim that there is an “unspoken agreement” between the royals and the press, and that the family provides access to news media that promise favorable coverage.

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“The Windsor agreement is that the royals are going to live in a palace, they get some taxpayer funding, in return, as long as they provide access and a constant supply of stories and pictures, they get favorable coverage, and that helps them renew their emotional contract with the people, “Rajan tells the audience.” But that agreement only works if both parties stick to their side of the agreement. And the question is, ‘Would Princess Diana’s children want to play that game?’

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The first episode covers the events after Queen Elizabeth’s diamond anniversary in 2012 up to Sussex’s wedding in 2018. At first, the media seemed enthusiastic about a new generation of royals, but over time began to sour the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Reports about the couple became more and more racist and misogynistic in a way that was never a problem for Cambridges.

“William and Harry’s relationship with the media was formed fundamentally from their childhood and their experiences of their mother’s relationship with the media,” says royal contributor Victoria Murphy in the documentary. “And it has absolutely shaped everything about how they both see the media. But we have seen, as they both get older, how it is expressed in different ways and the different paths they have taken. ”

The film explores some of the illegal activities, such as hacking and wiretapping that got the press in hot water in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and how these activities were used to target members of the royal family .

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The first episode also describes some of the competition between the royal households, and journalists share how quickly members of the royal family turn on each other. Many of the film’s interviewees tell how willing the various households are to leak unflattering information to the press.

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“I believe in the best of times, the palace is a nest of vipers and there is always a bit of slander,” says Richard Palmer of the Daily Express in the film.

As of this writing, The princes and the press is not available for streaming or viewing (yet) in Canada.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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