The Princes and the Press - Two Part BBC documentary 2021


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This thread is about the BBC documentary 'The Princes and the Press'.

https://www.bbc.com/mediacentre/proginfo/2021/47/the-princess-and-the-press-ep1

The same rules apply as in the other Sussex-related threads. The disclaimer below has been copied from the Sussex News and Events thread and is also applicable here.

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Wow, they must be expecting something terrible, if they have acted thus.
Threathening to boycot the BBC, is no lenient action.
 
The previews for the programme have said that it focuses on the different relationships between the Cambridges and the Sussexes and the press, so I was expecting something along the lines of William and Kate trying to work with the press whereas Harry and Meghan have hit out against the press. Unfortunately, it sounds as if it's going to be a load of stirring and trying to make out that there's a feud between the two households.

I don't understand what the BBC hopes to achieve by this. Things have moved on - no-one's talking about the relationship between the brothers any more, and concern about the Queen's health means that the public are likely to be angry by the broadcasting of a programme that could cause her any further distress.
 
This thread has now been opened. Please keep in mind the notification above and copied from the Sussex News and Events thread.
 
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The previews for the programme have said that it focuses on the different relationships between the Cambridges and the Sussexes and the press, so I was expecting something along the lines of William and Kate trying to work with the press whereas Harry and Meghan have hit out against the press. Unfortunately, it sounds as if it's going to be a load of stirring and trying to make out that there's a feud between the two households.

I don't understand what the BBC hopes to achieve by this. Things have moved on - no-one's talking about the relationship between the brothers any more, and concern about the Queen's health means that the public are likely to be angry by the broadcasting of a programme that could cause her any further distress.


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-f...-could-boycott-bbc-princes-press-documentary/


The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are reportedly threatening to boycott the BBC over a refusal to let them see a documentary about the royals’ relationship with the media.
In a rare move, the three households have united to complain to the corporation amid fears that Monday night’s programme, the Princes and The Press, will repeat claims that Prince William and Prince Harry briefed against each other through their aides.
The documentary comes as tensions between the Royal Family and the BBC run high in the wake of the Martin Bashir scandal, where an independent inquiry found the journalist’s interview with Diana, Princess of Wales was obtained by deceit - with failings covered up by BBC bosses. The Duke of Cambridge made a scathing statement following the report.



I don't understand the BBC's decision to air this either. As you pointed out the discussion over the Wales brothers' relationship has more or less disappeared. And considering that both were justifiably very upset and angry over the findings of the investigation into the Panorama Interview, I can't see why the BBC would choose to air something like this new program.


:sad:
 
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Royal Family issues extraordinary blast at BBC for airing 'overblown and unfounded claims' in documentary about rift between William and Harry - as Meghan sends her lawyer on to insist the negative stories about the Duchess are 'false'


  • Buckingham Palace accused BBC of giving credibility to ‘overblown and unfounded claims’ about the Royals
  • Comment was made in a joint statement by Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House
  • It comes after the BBC tonight aired part one of a two-part BBC2 series called The Princes and The Press
  • The episode included claims that insiders from other royal households had briefed against the Sussexes

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...tement-blasting-BBC-Princes-Press-series.html
 
So, it seems Meghan by sending her lawyer (and Omid Scobie as their right hand media man) participated in this BBC programme... Their claims were that Meghan the bullying clails are false and Meghan is not difficult to work with (lawyer) and that staff members briefed against the Sussexes (Omid). And at the same time the palace was not given 'sufficient' insight into the programme ahead of airing... Sounds like a very one-sided view.
 
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Anita Singh of the Telegraph wrote a mixed review of Part One:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2021...view-no-bombshells-amol-rajan-led-us-already/


This clip from the review is indicative of the tone of the program:

"... One of the factors that marks out Rajan from his peers is his relaxed presenting style. If he leaned back any further in that chair, he’d be horizontal. It makes his fellow news presenters seem stuffy by comparison. He’s also very smart, but this programme wasn’t his finest work. Perhaps he felt under certain constraints, the BBC having a chequered history when it comes to covering the royals. Remember the BBC One controller having to resign after wrongly claiming that the Queen had stormed out of an Annie Leibovitz photoshoot in a huff? I’m sure Rajan would say he shows no fear or favour, but he also knows when not to overstep the mark. ..."
 
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:previous: It seems a little odd that they are not offering any heads up to the Palace, or more simply, to either William or Harry since their interactions with the press is the supposed basis of the documentary. Sadly, I see that the Palace (HM) Clarence House (Prince Charles) and Kensington Palace (William), and nothing whatsoever about Harry.

The omission of Harry really shows where all of their priorities are focused at this point in time, (ie. HM health), possibly because Harry has since removed himself from the family. I can only imagine the BBC thinking they are fireproof for them to go forward at such a time and in such a way with so very much on the line. IMO it will just be another he said, they thought that he said and he aid and they thought fuzzy doco where everybody is guilty of something but nobody is responsible because they had decided that nothing would be said or done by anyone so they all believe that nobody said anything and somebody made a whole lot up.
 
Am I missing something? I thought heads up meant advanced warning and if that's how it was meant, I'd say Harry had more than advanced warning. He and his wife sent their lawyer over there to participate.

Scobie has twitted that the interview he gave for the BBC took place over a year ago. This documentary had been planned long ago.

Personally, I don't believe Harry and Meghan could possibly have been unaware, not with both Scobie and their lawyer taking part.
 
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I found a link on Youtube of the first part of the BBC's The Princes and the Press documentary. I'm still in the process of watching it. Hopefully, the link is not taken down due to copyright.

 
Sorry, but I choose not to believe Daily Mail.

Here's The Telegraph article by Camilla Tominey (who spoke in the documentary)

Brief encounters: the truth about the Palace PR machine and how we journalists get royal stories

(...)

It was all pretty uncontroversial - and I get the distinct impression that after all the hullabaloo over the palace’s reported “fury” at this two-part series, viewers will have felt decidedly let down over the distinct lack of bombshells.

First of all, I know the second of the two programmes has had to be extensively rewritten since Meghan was forced to apologise for “unintentionally”*misleading the court*over whether she collaborated with the authors of Finding Freedom during a Court of Appeal hearing of her case against the Mail on Sunday earlier this month.

So it seems as if it is not a case of the BBC withholding preview copies from the Palace - but rather that it is still being edited right down to the wire.

(...)
 
I started to watch The Princes and the Press but didn't last very long and turned it off. To be honest, I thought the BBC was a tad bit above creating a soap opera.

What I'd really, really like to know is just what purpose did this documentary serve?
 
For me in does feel like the BBC was trying to create a story. However there was not anything new - we know how the Princes feel towards the press.
 
Sorry, but I choose not to believe Daily Mail.

Here's The Telegraph article by Camilla Tominey (who spoke in the documentary)

Brief encounters: the truth about the Palace PR machine and how we journalists get royal stories

So CT who took part in the doc is trying to play down it's bias. That's not vested interest at all...

Also I'm not sure how claiming they now have to rewrite part of it, is suppose to be a good look. It means the original (which CT took part in) was even more slanted in favor Sussexes, and it's only because the Sussexes got caught in court lies that the BBC is forced to do an eleventh hour change to make slightly more impartial (likely after their legal team nudged them). Having to do last minute backtracking after their subject of support was caught, isn't honorable. It's just ass covering.


Also one of the main issues the Princes have with the media stems from Martin Bashir. But something tells me Bashir isn't the main focus of this doc, if he's even mentioned at all, because that would make the BBC look bad. So I'm sure the very honorable BBC instead deflected in this doc, making the issues be with paparazzi, tabloids, and feuding family members. Bashir, who? :whistling:

I can totally see why all the royal households are fed up with the BBC.
 
The first half of it was just rehashing a load of old stories about the News of the World hacking Kate's phone and trying to dig up dirt on Chelsy. We know that. The NOTW closed down 10 years ago. What's the point of keeping going on about it?

The focus was mainly on the Sussexes: things like the topless photos of Kate taken on a private site by a member of the paparazzi using a long lens, and the way in which she was hassled when she was working for Jigsaw, weren't even mentioned, and a lot of time was devoted to the coverage of Harry and Meghan's wedding and their overseas tours. Maybe that's just because the early treatment of Kate isn't seen as news any more: Kate and William have come to terms with the media. But I wouldn't say that it was pro or anti anyone - it was quite critical of Harry over "Tiaragate". The fact that the media try to whip up stories over who wears which tiara or whether or not bridesmaids should wear tights says a lot more about the media than about anyone concerned - it all sounds like something out of the school playground!

Then there was about one minute of Harry and Meghan's lawyer complaining about the allegations of bullying staff.

It didn't really say anything new, and it didn't say anything to justify all the hoo-ha there's been, or the claims that the Royal Family are going to boycott the BBC. Just all seems like a storm in a teacup to me! Channels 4 and 5 have recently run a number of successful documentaries about different members of the Royal Family, past and present, I think largely because Covid restrictions have made it difficult to film new material, so maybe the BBC thought they'd try to get in on the act?
 
Just finished watching the documentary and I thought I was watching a scripted drama with some contrived scenes, whilst pushing an agenda. Amol Rajan did not really come across objective at all, where he challenged more vigorously to some tabloid reporter, whilst being more softer or even appear to agree with others. Rajan actually makes it more obvious that he was a republican (anti-monarchists), when he was not questioning the interviewee who are sympathetic to the Sussexes. To make matters worse, why is Jenny Afia, the Sussex's lawyer with permission speak allowed to defend Meghan, despite an ongoing investigation with the bullying allegation? Why did the Sussexes not sued The Times beforehand if they are so confident that the story about Meghan bullying staff is false? Why deny the allegation now, where Meghan already admitted that she misled court?

I would have thought that the BBC would be treading more carefully after the Martin Bashir's controversy, but it seems like they are willing to rehash the story about Royal Family with the Press. All it does is to give ammunition to the "Defund the BBC" campaign and BBC's critics/rivals who argue that they are wasting taxpayer's money on producing a documentary that is not informative nor objective. I could see why the Palaces were upset with the BBC and threatened to boycott them if they are airing "overblown and unfound claims from unnamed sources".
 
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I am not quite sure that it is the BBC job to prevent far-fetched and paranoid campaigns from extremist politicians. Neither do I think the BBC or any other news channel will ever go far enough for such groups. They live from outrage, they live from imagined enemies. They will always find a fault with the BBC or with other media, because that is their business model. They gain support by peddling a paranoid world-view where you are either with them or against them and where they are victim and victor at the same time. Very much in line with simular political movements in Europe in the 1920s and later on. In that sense I do not think that the BBC or this documentary was wrong to air/make this documentary.

Having that said I agree that this particular documentary does not contain anything new for those who followed the matter closely. But of course not everybody did. If anything it reflects badly on royal reporters. As an opinion article in The Guardian stated:

Royal journalism, as he showed it in action, does the opposite of exciting reverence: rather, it places its hand gently on the backs of Britons’ heads and pushes our noses deep into the royal family’s dirty linen. Everybody involved gets degraded by it.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-...e-degrading-airing-of-the-royal-dirty-laundry
 
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One thing I did find interesting was the straight-up admission that the "workshy Wills" narrative was deliberately manufactured.
 
:previous:

Indeed, and that the Duchess of Cambridge was targeted for no other reason than that she did not 'give' the best photos as she often had her hair loose.

There was a great irony in one of the reporters suggesting that the palace was filled with 'vipers' because looking at this documentary one could conclude that some of the reporters and perhaps especially their editors would be far more deserving of that label.
 
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I was very unfavourably impressed by the fact that there was this reminder of Chelsy. The royals are, more or less, fair game (in most cases, less but still!). The press is part of their lives, like it or not. But Chelsy isn't a royal. She's just a onetime girlfriend of a now married Prince. Why go back to the times where she was followed, had her phone hacked, etc.? What does it bring to the table, except for splashing her across the world as the woman who was once checked for "sexual diseases", just in case we forgot? (I was happy having forgotten about this.)
 
I have to agree with many that have said, "why now?". I am not sure what purpose this documentary serves at this point in time. A year or so ago, before or shortly after Harry and Meghan's interviews, maybe, but not now.

Also, if the palace did not have knowledge of content and H & M did, that actually leads me to believe that there is someone/something else behind this other than the BBC. The BBC knows how the royal family works and what lines to not cross, so why would they even attempt something so daring. Was there a nudge from other parties?

Just makes me think.
 
Well, if the Sun to be believed, there might be some truth about the boycott rumour.

Prince William and Kate Middleton ban BBC from screening Christmas carol concert amid fury over royal documentary

(...)

Last night a TV source said of the royal snub to the Beeb: “This is a real coup for ITV. It is a brand new format — the royals have never hosted a televised TV concert before. And to have the Duchess leading on it is a big deal.

“Naturally most royal programming goes automatically to the*BBC*as the national broadcaster. Now it looks like they will work more with ITV in the future.”

The source added: “ITV were very surprised but delighted to get the late call offering them this incredible exclusive. It will be a fantastic Christmas carol concert that will be TV gold for viewers at home.

“It was all arranged to be on BBC1 but it was switched in the last few days because of the terrible row over the documentary.

“And things are likely to get a lot worse between the Royal Family and the BBC before they get better as the second part of the documentary threatens to go further.”

(...)
 
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-...e-degrading-airing-of-the-royal-dirty-laundry

Review of the documentary by The Guardian.

Of course, Harry may never have believed in the Deal. The media’s treatment of his mother – from Martin Bashir’s importunate interview to the paparazzi who shadowed her to her car-crash death – made him, understandably, hate the press. As did the hacking of his previous girlfriends’ phones. The case for his scepticism was strengthened here by Rajan’s interview with private investigator Gavin Burrows who told that he and others hacked into Chelsy Davy’s voicemails, tried to find out whether she had had an abortion, attempted to get hold of her medical records and scrutinised her sexual past. And then flogged the information to the red tops.
And then there was the racism. Our prime minister’s sister Rachel was interviewed about her column of four years ago in which she wrote of Meghan bringing “exotic DNA” into the Windsor bloodline. These days, she suggested, she wouldn’t have written such stuff. Why? Because “it sounds either eugenicist or racist”, she replied. Rajan rightly pointed out, it wouldn’t have sounded any less so four years ago.
Ultimately, Rajan’s programme eloquently if unwittingly made the case for the republicanism he once overtly espoused. Royal journalism, as he showed it in action, does the opposite of exciting reverence: rather, it places its hand gently on the backs of Britons’ heads and pushes our noses deep into the royal family’s dirty linen. Everybody involved gets degraded by it.
 
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Also, if the palace did not have knowledge of content and H & M did, that actually leads me to believe that there is someone/something else behind this other than the BBC. The BBC knows how the royal family works and what lines to not cross, so why would they even attempt something so daring. Was there a nudge from other parties?

Just makes me think.

A lot of BBC programmes these days have a strong political agenda, which is why there are so many calls for it to be defunded. If you choose to buy a newspaper or subscribe to a pay TV channel with political bias, that is your choice - it's your money, spend it how you like. But the BBC is funded by the licence fee, and is supposed to be neutral. Rajan is open about being a republican - again, he's entitled to his personal views, but not to push them on the BBC. And they interviewed Gina Miller, a political activist who holds strong anti-British views - and I can't see that she had any relevance to the issues except that her picture once happened to feature on a newspaper front page which also featured a picture of Meghan, in relation to a completely different story.

Having said all that, I didn't think that the first episode said anything that might have upset the Royals. The criticism was all of the horrible tactics used by royal reporters, especially against Kate and Chelsy. But it does sound as if the second episode's going to be more controversial: the Christmas concert has definitely been moved to ITV, because ITV's own website's reported it now, so William and Kate are clearly very upset about something.

I don't know what the BBC's playing at. And it shouldn't be playing at anything - it's taxpayer-funded and therefore isn't supposed to have any sort of agenda. They're doing themselves no favours - even people who aren't particularly royalist don't want to see the Queen upset when she's recently been widowed and is suffering from health problems.
 
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Anita Singh of the Telegraph wrote a mixed review of Part One:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2021...view-no-bombshells-amol-rajan-led-us-already/


This clip from the review is indicative of the tone of the program:

"... One of the factors that marks out Rajan from his peers is his relaxed presenting style. If he leaned back any further in that chair, he’d be horizontal. It makes his fellow news presenters seem stuffy by comparison. He’s also very smart, but this programme wasn’t his finest work. Perhaps he felt under certain constraints, the BBC having a chequered history when it comes to covering the royals. Remember the BBC One controller having to resign after wrongly claiming that the Queen had stormed out of an Annie Leibovitz photoshoot in a huff? I’m sure Rajan would say he shows no fear or favour, but he also knows when not to overstep the mark. ..."
If someone is able to post an archive of the telegraph review, I’d appreciate it - thanks!

I agree, this is beyond tacky! Sounds more like something the DM would do instead of the BBC; reply to Moran.

A lot of BBC programmes these days have a strong political agenda, which is why there are so many calls for it to be defunded. If you choose to buy a newspaper or subscribe to a pay TV channel with political bias, that is your choice - it's your money, spend it how you like. But the BBC is funded by the licence fee, and is supposed to be neutral. Rajan is open about being a republican - again, he's entitled to his personal views, but not to push them on the BBC. And they interviewed Gina Miller, a political activist who holds strong anti-British views - and I can't see that she had any relevance to the issues except that her picture once happened to feature on a newspaper front page which also featured a picture of Meghan, in relation to a completely different story.

Having said all that, I didn't think that the first episode said anything that might have upset the Royals. The criticism was all of the horrible tactics used by royal reporters, especially against Kate and Chelsy. But it does sound as if the second episode's going to be more controversial: the Christmas concert has definitely been moved to ITV, because ITV's own website's reported it now, so William and Kate are clearly very upset about something.

I don't know what the BBC's playing at. And it shouldn't be playing at anything - it's taxpayer-funded and therefore isn't supposed to have any sort of agenda. They're doing themselves no favours - even people who aren't particularly royalist don't want to see the Queen upset when she's recently been widowed and is suffering from health problems.
I am really saddened and concerned about this politicism of the BBC. As an American when something is going on and our papers and media now are obviously biased, I would look to the BBC for unbiased reporting…. I am old enough to remember Walter Cronkite here. We just don’t have someone trustworthy like that anymore :(.
 
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If someone is able to post an archive of the telegraph review, I’d appreciate it - thanks!

(...).

Here:
Article by Anita Singh
https://archive.ph/T6nnf

Article by Camilla Tominey
https://archive.ph/cLHWj

I have to agree with many that have said, "why now?". I am not sure what purpose this documentary serves at this point in time. A year or so ago, before or shortly after Harry and Meghan's interviews, maybe, but not now.

Also, if the palace did not have knowledge of content and H & M did, that actually leads me to believe that there is someone/something else behind this other than the BBC. The BBC knows how the royal family works and what lines to not cross, so why would they even attempt something so daring. Was there a nudge from other parties?

Just makes me think.

Scobie and Camilla said they did it last year, so this doc was in production since before Oprah.

I agree with posters up thread, more than "The Princes and the Press", this should be "Harry-Meghan and the Press". There seems to be 4 eps podcast of "Harry, Meghan, and the Media" as a follow up of this documentary.

Hopefully this is not BBC trying to pull another Bashir's panorama. He managed to lure Diana, giving her the stage to tell "her truth", now it does seems like they're doing the same with Harry. In which it's not really about anti-monarchy, but more about getting "exclusive scoop".
 
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:previous:

Indeed, and that the Duchess of Cambridge was targeted for no other reason than that she did not 'give' the best photos as she often had her hair loose.

There was a great irony in one of the reporters suggesting that the palace was filled with 'vipers' because looking at this documentary one could conclude that some of the reporters and perhaps especially their editors would be far more deserving of that label.



This and the manufactured “workshy Wills” story reflects very poorly on journalists. I haven’t watched this documentary, and don’t plan to, but it sounds pretty bad to me.

It also seems somewhat biased and one sided if the Sussexes lawyer and Scobie were included.
 
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