A BBC journalist named Amol Rajan has made a documentary special which airs this evening in the UK called The Princes And The Press. It’s apparently about how Prince William and Prince Harry were briefing the media against one another back in 2018/2019, although clearly, William is absolutely *still* briefing the press about Harry and Meghan. Robert Lacey didn’t pull his Battle of Brother updates out of thin air, you know? The biggest royal story this month is about how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge authorized their senior aide, Jason Knauf, to turn over “evidence” to the Mail. So of course William and Kensington Palace are briefing the media against Harry. Now, did Harry & Meghan brief the British media too? Sure. At times. Not anywhere near the extent to which William has waged an unhinged smear campaign though. But apparently, no one is supposed to see behind this particular curtain, because now the Daily Mail claims that the Queen, Charles and William are all very mad about this special:
The palace is big mad: The Queen has united with Prince Charles and Prince William in a threat to boycott the BBC over a documentary alleging vicious briefing wars between members of the Royal Family. The Palace is furious that the Corporation has refused to let it see The Princes And The Press before it airs on BBC2 tomorrow, and says it will refuse to co-operate on future projects unless it is given a right to respond.
They’re mad at a British-Indian journalist: The film is presented by Amol Rajan – a self-declared republican who has described the Monarchy as ‘absurd’. The BBC says the two-part programme will provide ‘context’ for William and Harry’s relationship with the media.
A ‘tri-household’ boycott? Despite a series of meetings between Prince William’s representatives and the Corporation, the source said the BBC was still refusing to show the programme to courtiers before broadcast. A Palace source said: ‘There is upset about it. The households are all united in thinking this is not fair. No one at the Palace has seen it.’
Harry & William briefed against each other: But while Palace insiders say ‘we’ll judge it when we’ve seen it’, sources believe the film will suggest that the brothers – or advisers working for them – ‘briefed against each other’ to the media and want a fair right to reply. The allegation that William and Harry instructed courtiers to plant smears against each other in the media is particularly sensitive for the Princes. They successfully united to block the same allegation from appearing in another documentary earlier this year. While the princes disagreed on many points, they were aligned on the issue of their press operations. It has previously been claimed that each office was briefing the media against the other but they have persistently denied it.
Withhold cooperation: It is understood that unless Monday’s documentary removes these allegations, the three households have threatened to withdraw co-operation for future BBC projects such as interviews or documentaries. Such a move would mark the end of a long relationship between the Royal Family and the BBC, which screened a tribute to the late Prince Philip this year and broadcast Earthshot, a five-part series about climate change which was presented by Prince William.
The BBC is sticking by the special: A senior BBC insider told this newspaper last night that there were ‘always bumps in the road on productions like this’ but managers at the Corporation had agreed that it did not breach any of the BBC’s editorial guidelines on impartiality. The source added: ‘You can’t make a documentary about royal journalism without mentioning briefings. It doesn’t point the finger at any individuals.’
“Despite a series of meetings between Prince William’s representatives and the Corporation…” Sounds like William is the only one who is incandescent with rage about this special and he’s using his father and grandmother as cover, like they’re all equally mad. Despite the Daily Mail’s efforts to “both sides” this particular story (as in, both sides did an equal amount of briefing against one another), I would also guess that the documentary special ends up revealing that William and his people were doing the bulk of the “briefing.” William can’t have anyone pulling at those threads, because – as many journalists know – he was actively throwing Meghan to the media wolves as a way to cover up his affair with Rose Hanbury. Remember when Foreign Policy’s deputy editor James Palmer said exactly that? Once people really examine the timeline in context, they’ll not only see that William was behind a huge chunk of the smear campaign against Meghan, but that he was partially briefing against her to hide his own exposure.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.