BBC coverage of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee could be hit by Prince William's row with the Corporation over documentary series
William has already banned the broadcaster from showing a charity carol concert to be hosted by wife Kate at Westminster Abbey. But with the second part of The Princes And The Press airing on BBC2 tomorrow evening – and concerns it will further focus on the rift between William and Harry – the boycott may be extended.
Any suggestion that the Cambridges and other Royals tried to plant stories about Harry, particularly over his mental health, will infuriate the Palace and likely lead to retaliations.
An insider told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is an expectation that this programme will be worse than the first. There are already plans for media coverage around the Jubilee but it’s not all nailed down.
‘Depending on what’s in the programme, there could be a withdrawal of co-operation when it comes to interviews or other projects with the BBC.’
Separate sources said it was clear that William – who worked with the BBC on his environmental Earthshot Prize but is protective of his staff and their reputations – would have to ‘seriously consider’ further projects with the broadcaster.
Other senior Royals may also join a boycott.
The MoS reported last week that a senior Royal source had condemned the documentary as ‘tittle-tattle’ that upset the Queen.
The Royals have been angered not only by its claims, but by the BBC’s refusal to allow William as well as Buckingham Palace and Clarence House – the households of the Queen and the Prince of Wales – to view the two-part programme in advance.
It was Harry himself who raised the issue of his mental health. In a 2019 ITV documentary he admitted that he and his brother were on ‘different paths’ and disclosed he had suffered the resurgence of mental health issues that need ‘constant management’.
At the time, William was reported to be ‘concerned’ about the wellbeing of Harry and his wife, Meghan, which, insist sources, was a natural and heartfelt response.
A Palace source said yesterday that ‘any suggestion the Cambridges or any other members of the family planted stories about the Sussexes in the press, particularly claims that they did so about Harry’s mental health, are categorically untrue’.
The source added: ‘We will have to wait to see the programme but in terms of withdrawing co-operation, we haven’t ruled anything out.
The households are united on their stance.’
Tomorrow’s documentary will also feature the Megxit saga.
Palace sources have shot down suggestions that aides working for William and Harry engaged in destructive briefings during this period.
They said the opposite was true, with Royal aides repeatedly refusing to be dragged into a public war of words, despite the Duke and Duchess of Sussex giving an explosive interview to US television host Oprah Winfrey.