This two-part series looks at the ways in which the Royal Family and the media have established an extraordinary and dynamic relationship over the past decades.
In the first episode – called Crisis – Steve Hewlett examines how Prince Charles, with the help of Mark Bolland, built his public image after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.
Prior to becoming media advisor to Charles, Bolland was the director of the Press Complaints Commission. It also became Bolland’s task to create a positive public image for Camilla Parker Bowles, who would later marry the Prince and become The Duchess of Cornwall.
Bolland came under scrutiny from the public, members of the Royal Family and the Royal Household alike, for his supposedly controversial methods in promoting the Prince of Wales’s public appearance.
Apparently Princes William and Harry nicknamed Bolland ‘Blackadder’ because of his no-nonsense attitude towards the press.
Joining Steve Hewlett in this documentary are editors, past royal advisors, journalists, royal correspondents, and photographers to discuss the relationship between the Royals and the media over the years. A variety of photographs and video clips from the BBC’s Royal archive will be used to compliment the programme.
Prior to the preliminary transmission date (4th January), the BBC initially postponed the broadcast of Reinventing The Royals because of “issues relating to the clearance of archive footage”. However since then, according to the Radio Times, lawyers attempted to prevent the broadcasting of the documentaries due to the series being made without the customary guidance from palace press handlers.
Reinventing The Royals will be broadcast on Thursday 19th February at 9pm on BBC Two. This episode will be available to watch online soon after the initial broadcast.
Crisis is presented by Steve Hewlett and produced by Christopher Walker. Steve Hewlett and Rachel Crellin are the executive producers.
Photo credit: Ruairi Dunne/Genie Pictures