Kensington Palace lied about Netflix contacting them, KP asked for ‘H&M’ footage

When Netflix’s Harry & Meghan Volume 1 dropped, people were surprised to see this panel come up in the first episode: “Members of the Royal Family declined to comment on the content within this series.” Within hours, Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace sent out “royal sources” (their senior staffers) to claim that the Windsors were NEVER contacted by Netflix. That was quickly revealed to be yet another palace lie. Friend-of-the-blog Ellie Hall at Buzzfeed did some digging on the palace’s lies and how quickly they tried to backtrack about whether they were actually contacted. What Ellie found out was pretty funny:

When the first three episodes of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan were released on Dec. 8, the first official response from Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace was that neither of their press offices nor any members of the royal family had been approached to comment for the docuseries. That story soon changed, and communications reviewed by BuzzFeed News now show that not only had the press representatives been contacted, one of the top palace communications officials tried to get advance footage.

The royal family’s top press officials initially told reporters they had not been contacted for comment by the producers of Harry & Meghan… Hours later, the officials changed their story, saying that they had been contacted by “a third-party production company” but their attempts to verify the company’s authenticity with Netflix and Archewell Productions (the Sussexes’ production company, which co-produced the docuseries) received no response.

However, Harry & Meghan production company Story Syndicate told BuzzFeed News that not only had the chief press officers at Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace been contacted for an official response, but that Lee Thompson, communications secretary for the Prince and Princess of Wales, confirmed receipt of the email and requested to see footage from the docuseries.

Spokespersons for each palace said that they contacted Archewell Productions and Netflix in an attempt to verify the authenticity of the production company’s email. These spokespersons said that they did not receive a response to their inquiries from either Archewell Productions or Netflix and thus were unable to provide a response. They also told reporters that the emails they received did not address the entire series. These facts were widely reported by royal reporters from many publications, attributed to a “royal source” or a “senior royal source.”

BuzzFeed News can confirm that these “royal sources” were Thompson and his counterpart at Buckingham Palace: Tobyn Andreae, communications secretary to King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort. The two regularly brief selected royal reporters — and provide instructions about how these briefings and guidance are to be attributed — in a WhatsApp group.

Emails between Thompson and one of the show’s producers, dated Nov. 30, were obtained by BuzzFeed News and their authenticity was confirmed by Story Syndicate. A spokesperson for Story Syndicate told BuzzFeed News that Thompson did not reply to a follow-up email in which the company declined to provide clips from Harry & Meghan (as is standard industry practice) but reiterated the claims that would be made and requested Kensington Palace’s official response.

Story Syndicate said that it had no evidence of anyone from Buckingham Palace reaching out in response to the initial email and confirmed that it was sent not to a general mailbox but to Andreae’s direct email address. (A spokesperson added that there was no “bounceback” to the email, an automatic reply that indicates an inbox is full and the recipient might be unable to read the message.) This spokesperson also noted to BuzzFeed News that a request for comment sent to Jason Knauf, former royal employee and current director of the Earthshot Prize (a competition founded by Prince William), on the same date as the emails to both palaces received a response that was included in Harry & Meghan.

A spokesperson for Netflix said the company can find no evidence that it had been contacted by either Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace through any common channels of communication, but cautioned that there is a possibility an email could have been sent to an obscure account.

The Sussexes’ global press secretary, Ashley Hansen, told Buzzfeed News that an Archewell employee from an unrelated branch of the company was contacted by a royal employee after the deadline Story Syndicate had given for a response to be included in the docuseries. Hansen said that neither she nor any other members of the Archewell communications team (which represents Archewell Productions, Archewell Audio, and the Archewell Foundation) were contacted by spokespersons for the royal family.

[From Buzzfeed]

Once again, it’s amateur hour at the palace. Why did they feel like they couldn’t say “we were contacted and we declined to comment”? That’s what genuinely happened! Instead, the palace created a psychodrama to try to make the Sussexes look like liars… for no reason other than stupidity and malice. And the fact that William’s comms secretary and Charles’s comms secretary have a dumb WhatsApp group with royal reporters so they can all get their dumb stories straight… behold, the invisible contract. Not so much a contract as a bunch of idiots and liars in a group chat, trying to figure out how to always blame the Sussexes for everything.

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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64 Responses to “Kensington Palace lied about Netflix contacting them, KP asked for ‘H&M’ footage”

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  1. Emily_C says:

    Kensington Palace lied. So, a day ending in “y” then?

    • Ginger says:

      Exactly. We all know the palace lies but to have so much proof of it recently has been wonderful. They lied regarding that Hussey woman, the Netflix drama and the statement where they forged Harry’s name. Just wow. How can anyone believe what they say now?

      • Concern Fae says:

        Lying when everyone knows you are lying is a dominance move. Getting your followers to repeat your lies instead of the obvious truth is a total dominance move. It ties them to you and cuts them off from friends and family, because it is embarrassing to have to admit you fell for lies, so reconciliation becomes difficult.

        Studying how scams and con men work is key to realizing how these right wing fraudsters work. They should teach it in journalism school, because reporters never seem to see it happening.

      • Becks1 says:

        It is very Trump-ian. Okay, so we lied, so whatever, what are you going to do about it? Absolutely nothing.

    • Tan says:

      Or the sun rose during the morning – something along those lines

    • Saba says:

      Everything King Chuck and Prince Peg do to try to prove what H&M said is untrue, actually reinforces H&M’s claims.

      It’s rather farcical. Like a magician performing on stage but the warm up act told the audience how all the tricks work.

      Just goes to show how much their tactics relied on the manipulation, abuse, silencing and defeat of the family members around them. It doesn’t work if the abused don’t comply.

      Chuck and Peg have no self control or enough class to ‘never complain, never explain’. They’re tacky AF. And despicable.

  2. HillaryIsAlwaysRight says:

    Down with the monarchy!

  3. goofpuff says:

    I want more stories like this to come out. Only when people aren’t afraid to publicize the truth will the insanity end.

  4. girl_ninja says:

    Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.

  5. Lucky Charm says:

    Lol. These fools just keep on tripping all over themselves and making everything ten times worse just because of jealousy, pettiness and spite. At this rate, will there even be a monarchy left by the time of the coronation?

  6. Amy Bee says:

    It’s clear that KP leaked to the press that Harry and Meghan were doing the docuseries although for more scandal they told the press that it was a reality show. It’s interesting that even with new Comms Secretaries the culture remains the same. As Kaiser said it would have easier to just confirm that the disclaimer was true.

    • windyriver says:

      The BP guy is a former DM editor so no surprise it’s the same old there. But isn’t t the KP guy formerly with NBC Universal? So, either he was hired because he agreed with the existing culture and methods, or he has other ideas which are being ignored or overruled, in which case he may not last long.

    • Jais says:

      Slightly off topic, but in the video of the joint walkabout with the Cambridges and the Sussexes for the funeral, you can see Lee Thompson hurry up to William and recommend that they should all jointly wave goodbye before getting in the car. And I’ve seen him in the background of some of the Boston vids. The man looks stressed all the time. Maybe that’s just his normal? Extreme stress bordering on panic is how he looks or maybe I’m just projecting? But ugh imagine working for William and trying to keep all the lies strait and preventing his ego and arrogance from shining through at every event. No sympathy cuz it’s a choice but the money cannot be that good.

    • Becks1 says:

      Also, if Jason was contacted, no way he wouldn’t have called up William and said “hey I was contacted about this docuseries your brother is doing.” And we know Jason was contacted AND received the email and all that jazz bc he responded!

      Reading this my jaw just dropped…not bc I was surprised that KP lied, but just how BAD they are at all this. Like they responded and asked for clips and then their response after it aired was to say that never happened?!!?

      I love that BuzzFeed was able to get this lol.

      • windyriver says:

        @Becks1 – especially since, as per the article above, the emails requesting comment outlined “the claims that would be made”, which in Jason’s case, was that his actions regarding his witness statement for the DM in Meghan’s suit had to have been approved from above. Will must have been his first call!

        Recall too that Jason lied in his response, saying that Meghan’s team had requested the statement, and stating he did he best to remain neutral. Her team replied to that comment – no, she never made that request, and by the way, we dispute that you remained at all neutral.

      • windyriver says:

        ETA: Oops ran out of time above…It looks like Jason basically took one for the team, since he was already publicly out there anyway. That doesn’t seem to have attracted any attention…

  7. Emmi says:

    Just … why. If there’s an electronic papertrail, why lie? Is that just their go-to? Lie for absolutely no good reason? Are they all high over there?

    • T3PO says:

      They are stuck in the1800’s. They think their word is law and there is no possible way to verify anything. In short they are classist morons who are bad at their job.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      Maybe they think if THEY delete an email, it deletes it from everyone else too?

      Should we also tell them that when you delete a text message you sent, it’s still on the recipient’s phone if it was delivered?

      • Eurydice says:

        I was just typing this when I saw your comment. It’s like stone knives and bearskins over there.

    • molly says:

      They lie so that the initial “they never asked us!” statement is the first, and usually only, thing the general public hears. Especially the general public that already hates H&M and will happily believe the worst.

      It’s shady PR ethics and a terrible way to run a comms shop, but the royal family is forever short-sighted and obsessed with self-preservation. They’ll say anything to keep public sentiment on their side. (And since the lies and walk backs give them clicks and content, the papers are more than happy to play the game.)

    • Colby says:

      I think it’s a pretty simple answer: they lied, despite a paper trail, because they are used to lying and getting away with it because they mostly work with British press who are willing to lie with them.

      They neglected to consider that American press/production companies DGAF about maintaining a relationship with them.

      • Becks1 says:

        I was going to say, they didn’t expect anyone in the US press to do any digging here AND they didn’t expect Netflix and the Sussexes to contradict them so openly. In the UK they probably would have gotten away with this lie.

      • Snuffles says:


        Also, Netflix has their reputation and financial bottom line to protect. And the royal family has been trying to fuck with their business since Season 4 of The Crown. They went beyond just complaining. They were trying to hamstring their business in the UK market. Therefore, Netflix has ZERO problem calling these fuckers out.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Snuffles that is a GREAT point. Netflix has a vested interest in pointing out how and when these people lie, since these people (the royals) have spent years now spewing hate at Netflix and insisting the Crown is made up etc etc.

      • Colby says:

        @Snuffles yes agreed, great point there. Not only are they not incentivized to help the BRF, they’re actually incentivized to go against them in this case. Its a piss-poor PR team who doesn’t realize that….but I think we know thats what they have over at KP lol

      • equality says:

        Maybe they believe their own press propaganda that the US loves them and are turning against H&M?

      • Emmi says:

        I mean screwing with people is one (terrible) thing but WHO in their right mind … nevermind. I was going to say who thought calling Netflix liars would go unchallenged. Apparently these people do.

        I‘m really just fascinated by all of this because it makes no sense. If you lose the dignity and enigma brought to the table by the Queen (I know I know but that was her brand) and have no glamour to offer either, you’re going with shitshow as your selling point?You’re screwed. They’re screwed.

    • Polo says:

      Story syndicate said that Ellie was the only reporter to contact them about this story so yes they lied because no one is willing to dig deep enough after they release their statements. They thought they would get away with like they usually do.
      That’s why it’s important to share like and promote these kind of stories so reporters are willing to write them. I know Ellie has done some shady things before but this story needed to be everywhere when it came out and it really wasn’t.

      • windyriver says:

        @Polo thanks for mentioning this. First read the piece a few days ago and was sure I also read the comment from Story that only BuzzFeed had been in touch. Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see it in the piece now.

  8. Snuffles says:

    I know we all love to say that they are just that stupid, and, in many ways, they are. But I’m leaning towards believing that they don’t care if they get busted with receipts because the goal is to get the lie out the door and amplified by the British tabloids and the syndicated network that simply copy and paste their “news” without fact checking.

    Winston Churchill said: a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on. In today’s social media, a lie makes several laps around world first before the truth catches up. And by then, most aren’t paying attention.Their lies will reach their constituents and they will believe them because your average person isn’t taking the time to question the validity of what they read. They casually read it and it seeps into their subconscious and it builds up over time.

    The Firm knows this. That’s why they have no compunction about lying when they know people can produce the receipts.

    But, the truth eventually catches up. And they’ve been lying so thick and fast, it’s now getting to the point where the royal ambivalent are starting to notice and are piecing together the news. And they are starting to challenge it. Or this simply take it too far and get so sloppy where they can’t fake plausible deniability.

    The game is starting to turn against them.

    • Nic919 says:

      I don’t know if they didn’t care as much as they assumed they wouldn’t be challenged. It is arrogance in any case, but their insular thinking shows they don’t understand that non Uk media do not need to please the Windsor family. American companies in particular have a far larger reach and for the most part don’t report on the royals unless it relates to Harry and Meghan.

    • Roop says:

      @Snuffles, this is the best theory I’ve seen so far. Because how is anyone as stupid as these morons continue to show they are? And the answer is that they aren’t, this lying is all on purpose.

  9. S808 says:

    Why lie about something easily verifiable?

  10. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Hmm. I wonder who among the press leaked that KP and BP were in fact contacted and were discussing/dictating their responses in a Whatsapp chat directly to the press, who were included the chat. There’s a mole in the Rota. Good. Keep whistleblowing, mole! Moley moley moley mole!

  11. Jay says:

    We can all laugh at the incompetence of the palace ( and we should!) but there’s no clearer illustration that they are used to being protected and accommodated by British media.

    We know that William in particular has demanded to approve footage ahead of time and forced edits. KP is clearly not used to dealing with a media company that has no interest in carrying water for them.

  12. Nic919 says:

    I think it’s more that they didn’t expect push back from the media because UK media lets them get away with the lies. It is American entities like Netflix and buzzfeed that pushed back on the lies put out by KP.

    Is it sloppy, sure but until now KP didn’t have to worry about that because the rota and UK media in general tend to cover for them. Lee Thomson worked in the US and it is surprising he is so dumb as to think American media will cover for this family.

    • MsIam says:

      I wonder if Lee Thompson is the mole who leaked about WhatsApp? I know he’s British but I wonder if he sees the writing on the wall of this sh*t show and is hoping to bail soon back to the US? At the rate things are going, I don’t know if I would want working for the Royals on my resume, unless he plans to work for Murdoch or the GQP.

      • Becks1 says:

        that could be it, but he also might have said something laughingly to an American, maybe a former colleague, about the WhatsApp group and that colleague said something to Netflix or Buzzfeed or whatever. Maybe Harry and Meghan know about the group, IDK.

    • Seraphina says:

      And I think there we have the answer: the American media is no longer covering for the BaRF. Meghan is American and the couple live here with their kids being American. They have an interest to push the truth. Plus, there is much were diversity in high positions now than 50 years ago and that too changes the stage.

  13. Chantal says:

    Lol! This article was nothing but shade!
    The hilariousness of:
    1- the outing of BP and KP by name checking each of the palaces specific press officers,
    2- the statement about them actually being “the royal sources”
    3- the shade and proof of the cozy relationship between the press officers and RR with regular briefings and WhatsApp used as their major means of communication (idk why but this is too comical)
    4- name checking Jason and his highlighting his current role in the competition aka Earth whatever

    Will there be a (predictably) whiny response? I predict much scrambling and covering of azzes resulting in more unforced errors. I used to think these staff members were paid too little. Now I’m wondering if they are paid too much…

    • BeanieBean says:

      As I read the article, I thought, now this is an excellent piece of journalism. This is what journalism looks like, not that tripe that the DM, Sun, Times of London, Telegraph, and even the BBC have been churning out lately.

  14. Hail says:

    So in a month they’ve lied about…

    1) Contacting Ngozi Fulani and setting up a meeting to apologize

    2) Meghan’s legal team asking Jason Knauf for help & the DailyFail asking Jason for evidence

    3) Netflix not contacting them & replying with “dignified silence” by not watching the documentary

    4) Harry putting his name to the statement squashing the story about William bullying the Sussexes out of the family

    5) Not briefing royal reporters against Harry and Meghan

    5. FIVE lies have been exposed in under a month. If they can lie so brazenly about things that can be proven easily, what else have they been lying about?

    • Well Wisher says:

      ‘Power without responsibility’ is the accepted ethos at work.

      It is unfortunate that these lies are so apparent, so what??
      The buddies in the media, actual stenographers, will bare witness and repeat our lies.
      How else are they going to keep their jobs, even if it is a demotion.
      Harry wouldn’t play ball, so both of us, the firm and parasitic media will extract our revenge./s

  15. Eurydice says:

    OMG, it’s like they don’t know how email works.

  16. molly says:

    I DO love that Buzzfeed is happily naming names. None of this “royal source” bullsh*t.

  17. Sarem says:

    What a wonderful potential source of evidence. I so, so, so hope the Sussexes’ attorneys send all of these fools document preservation demands so they can request those WhatsApp chats in one of Harry’s cases.

  18. Kingston says:

    So………an interesting little tidbit here: the BP Comms guy and the KP Comms guy maintan a whatsapp grp with their sycophants in the britshidtmedia so they can be fed their daily talking points, huh?

    And Ellie/buzzfeed knows about this……wonder if theyre in the grp? Very likely.

    So………this begs for a tampongate equivalent, methinks. If hypocritical/opportunistic ellie is in the whatsapp grp, hopefully she also has an assumed journalist/commentator/opinion writer identity with a banger phone. Because surely, after this expose, she has been kicked out? So she might as well upset the entire applecart.


    • Becks1 says:

      I would doubt that a reporter from Buzzfeed is in a whatsapp group chat with the BP communictions secretary. It’s probably just the rota, maybe someone from the BBC.

    • SomeChick says:

      no way is she in the group herself. Buzzfeed ran that article with the side by side comparisons of Kate getting praised for things Meghan was trashed for. they are not royalists. it’s all rota rats up in there.

      congrats to Ellie and Buzzfeed for this scoop! keep it up!

      • Kingston says:

        Yeah…..that side by side comparison of headlines of M vs kkkHATE for the same actions was done by a SSquaddie. Ellie co-opted it and passed of off as her own work.

  19. TheVolvesSeidr says:

    It’s like the RF doesn’t realize that emails can be used in a court of law, and copies are automatically saved in the sent folder, and the web is world wide. They still exist sometime in the 80’s pre electronic age. It’s bizarre. “I know, just lie and say we were never contacted” really?!?

  20. Isabella says:

    I don’t know if Ellie is such a friend. She blows hot & cold, picking fights with Christopher Bouzy for one. She posted this on Twitter after the documentary was aired & the trolls swarmed her comments section:

    (It should be noted that Meghan’s formal apology for “misleading” the court was not mentioned.)

    This is an earlier squabble:
    Christopher Bouzy on Twitter: “I don’t expect an apology from Ellie …
    Mar 21, 2022Christopher Bouzy on Twitter: “I don’t expect an apology from Ellie Hall or BuzzFeed News, so I will leave a few screenshots here to prove Ellie lied to her sources and everyone else. I am against publishing private messages, but Ellie Hall didn’t correct the record, and I have no choice but to do it for her.” / Twitter · 2h

  21. Beverley says:

    They are sooo bad at this! Is Peggington really this dense? Is he really so arrogant that he thinks a reputable (non-British) media giant would just let his word stand? Why would Kensington Palace LIE when it’s so easily proven? Why lie when they know there’s a paper trail?

    They thought they’d try to take Netflix for fools.

    When will they get it through their thick skulls that US companies won’t scrape, bow, and obey?!?
    Well, maybe People Magazine will, but that rag has long been in decline.

  22. Robin Samuels says:

    They lie comfortably because what they say is never challenged until now. They didn’t believe Netflix would reveal the request for a preview of the show before it was aired. BUSTED.