The Princes and The Press: how did the royal family respond to BBC documentary - and when is episode 2 on TV?

The BBC documentary has been criticised by the royal households for giving credibility to “unfounded claims”

The documentary examines the relationship Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (left) and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex have with the media.

The documentary The Princes and The Press looks at the relationship the Cambridges and Sussexes have had with the media.

However, it has proved to be controversial, with the BBC criticised by the royal households for giving credibility to “overblown and unfounded claims” in the documentary.

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Here’s all you need to know about the programme, where to watch it and the response to it.

What is it about?

The first episode of The Princes And The Press, presented by Amol Rajan, aired last week and included suggestions that negative stories about the Duchess of Sussex were leaked by courtiers and there was a competitiveness between households.

The second episode, which is due to air on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday (29 November), is expected to delve into William and Harry’s rift, and royal aides are reported to be concerned it will include claims the brothers briefed against each other in the press through their advisers.

It is also available to watch on BBC iplayer.

How did the royal family respond to the documentary?

Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace took the rare step of issuing a joint statement to the broadcaster which was included at the end of the BBC Two documentary.

The statement from the palaces said: “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.”

Meanwhile, it has been reported the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen ITV over the BBC to broadcast a special Christmas carol concert after the corporation screened a controversial royal documentary.

The Westminster Abbey event was due to be hosted by the BBC the Sun newspaper reported, but it quoted a source which claimed the plans were switched to ITV after a row over the programme.

William and Harry's often fraught relationship with the media is explored in The Princes and the Press

What has the BBC said?

Richard Sharp, chairman of the BBC, has said that occasionally programmes from the broadcaster “may not meet with full agreement” with establishments, including the royal family.

Mr Sharp was asked at the VLV Autumn Conference about reports that Kensington Palace had elected to switch the screening of its Christmas Carol service to ITV following a BBC documentary about the royal family.

“The BBC is a national institution and we approach our relationships with the other national institutions with great care and thought,” he said.

“The royal family is at the centre of our identity, it’s underlying importance is unequivocal.

“We have tremendous respect for all aspects of the royal family in that they undertake and do.

“From time to time this organisation produces programmes which may or may not meet with full agreement with different parts of the establishment.”

“Our job is to get that right, to be independent, to be respectful.”

Who is Amol Rajan?

Amol Rajan is a journalist and broadcaster and is a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today show. He was appointed the BBC’s first Media Editor, leading its journalism on media and technology globally, in 2016. He continues in this role.

Prior to joining the BBC, he was the editor of The Independent. He has presented a range of programmes. As well as Today he is a regular co-presenter on The One Show on BBC One.

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