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British Royals

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accused of snubbing the BBC in fallout from programme about royals and the press


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A Christmas carol concert, organised by the Duchess of Cambridge, won’t be broadcast on the BBC in what’s reported to be a snub to the corporation following the transmission of a documentary that discussed whether royal households have been briefing the press against one another.

The Sun reported that the special programme will be shown on ITV instead.

The concert is being made by BBC Studios which does make material for other broadcasters. However, ITV said it had only become aware of the concert, which will take place t Westminster Abbey, in the past few days.

The timing of the revelation has led to claims that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are unhappy with the BBC following the broadcast of the programme ‘Princes and the Press’.

The first edition of a two part documentary went out on November 21st and alleged that royal households had briefed the media as the Cambridge and Sussex families grew apart.

Ahead of the broadcast, newspaper reports appeared indicating that Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace were unhappy that they hadn’t been given editions of the programme to view in advance.

All three households contributed a joint statement to the show, saying ‘‘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.”

The statement appeared on screen and was read in full at the end of the programme.

Royal officials aren’t commenting on why the Christmas service is headed to ITV.

Richard Sharp, Chairman of the BBC, said at the Voice of the Viewer and Listener conference that “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. I hope in this case we got it right.”

The Duke of Cambridge recently criticised the BBC for its behaviour towards his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales following the Dyson report into how Martin Bashir obtained an interview with her in 1995 for the Panorama programme. William explicitly criticised the organisation following the publication of the report. The Duke of Sussex was also critical, saying the issue is ”bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.”

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