In a new chapter of its tense relations with the press, the British royal family launched an unusual criticism of the BBC public radio, accusing it of publishing information "unfounded" following a documentary about princes Enrique and Guillemo.
Under the title "Princes and the press", a two-part program examines the journalists’ relationship with Guillermo, 39, second in line to the throne, and with his younger brother, who has taken several newspapers before the courts over the years, notably since he began his relationship with American actress Meghan Markle in 2016.
According to some media, the documentary irritated royalty because they were not asked for their participation, they were not interviewed, nor were they shown the content before its broadcast, to the point that they would have threatened to stop collaborating in future projects of the public entity .
The BBC did ask for a reaction that it included on screen and read on the air at the end of the first part, broadcast on Monday night.
In it, the entire royal family goes out of their usual discretion to denounce that "Too often, unfounded and exaggerated claims from anonymous sources are presented as fact".
"It is disappointing that someone, including the BBC, gives them credibility", states this joint statement of the palaces of Buckingham, Clarence House and Kensington, residences of Queen Elizabeth II, her son Charles and her grandson William respectively.
The documentary suggests that 37-year-old Enrique had always had a hostile attitude towards the press, which he blamed for the traumatic death of his mother, Princess Diana in 1997 chased by paparazzi in Paris, when he and his brother were teenagers.
And that this only got worse with the coverage of Meghan by British tabloids.
According to Amol Rajan, host of the documentary, there has always been an unwritten agreement between members of the royal family and the media by which they allow them to photograph and access them in exchange for favorable coverage.
Tim Ewart, a veteran royal correspondent, claimed that when Henry refused to "play the game" this caused "resentment" in certain mediums that became tougher on him.
"Ruthless" with Enrique
The Dukes of Sussex argued strong media pressure as the main reason for their withdrawal from the monarchy, which they announced loudly in early 2020, before moving to California, shaking the foundations of royalty.
Interviewing a lawyer for the former actress who denied the allegations, the documentary also talks about Meghan’s alleged harassment of palace employees when the couple were still living in London.
In an unprecedented decision since Princess Diana’s break with the monarchy in the 1990s, highly unusual for an institution that does not settle disputes in public, the royal house announced in March that it was investigating such allegations.
Harry and Meghan, who have filed several lawsuits against the media, are currently awaiting a judgment in appeal against the Mail on Sunday, which the Duchess of Sussex accuses of having violated her privacy by publishing a personal letter written to her father. in 2018.
On "Princes and the press", a private investigator, Gavin Burrows, also claims that the 2000s media had no "no morals" and were "ruthless"especially with the young prince.
Burrows apologized for having hacked the phone of his then-girlfriend and sold the information to News of the World, arguing that the information about Enrique sold more than those about his older brother, less rebellious and more moderate.
"As two editors explained to me, Enrique had become the new Diana"He said, referring to his mother’s media pull, which the prince always defended as a victim of the press.
Upon leaving the monarchy, the grandson of Elizabeth II claimed to want to prevent "it would be repeated" the story of media harassing his mother with his wife, who recognized in a shocking interview with the American presenter Oprhan Winfrey having come to have suicidal thoughts.