The British royal family has put on a united front and issued a rare joint statement condemning the BBC for publicizing “overblown and unfounded claims” in a documentary that aired Monday night in the U.K.
The new docuseries, titled “The Princes and The Press,” focuses on the relationship between royal brothers Prince William and Prince Harry and the media. The first episode featured journalists and commentators who described how information was obtained, whether by leaks, “dishonest practices” or unofficial briefings between royal sources and reporters. The special also focused on the brothers’ different approaches when it came to handling media scrutiny.
The goal of the documentary, according to the network, was to explore whether negative stories about the royals were based on information from people connected to other royal households.
The end of the program featured a statement given to the BBC by Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace concerning the allegations. They represent the households of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and William.
“A free, responsible and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy,” the statement read, as quoted by ITV. “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.”
In response, the BBC said the program is “about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry.”
“… The film also showed the extent of the threat to privacy from a press hungry for stories about the younger royals,” they continued. “This included claims by private investigator Gavin Burrows, who said he now regretted his involvement in chasing newspaper stories about Prince Harry and his ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy.”
They noted that Burrow’s claims “are yet to be tested in court and are strongly disputed.”
Reps for the royal households didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
In the program, an attorney for Meghan Markle responded to reports about the Duchess of Sussex’s alleged bullying of palace staff. The 40-year-old’s team has strongly refuted those claims. It is also noted that the U.K. Times report came days before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a televised interview.
“Those stories were false,” Jenny Afia from the law firm Schillings told presenter Amol Rajan, as quoted by ITV. “This narrative that no one can work for the Duchess of Sussex, she was too difficult and demanding as a boss and everyone had to leave, it’s just not true.”
Voice coach Stewart Pearce, who worked closely with Princess Diana, told Fox News that the royal brothers aren’t feuding. He has recently written a book about his work with the late Princess of Wales titled “Diana The Voice of Change.”
“I know they’re not feuding because I’m in association with people who know them very well,” he said. “It’s a figment that has been created by the British press and they are persistent in using it. These are two extraordinary men whose lives, up to a certain point, have been intertwined. They were united in the grieving of their mother. And they matured. And along the way, they discovered separate paths. They both found two women who fulfill them, but as you can see, they’re different in many ways.”
“My brother and I have disagreements, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a rift,” said Pearce. “That’s part of the human existence. We disagree.”
Back in March, William, 39, became the first British royal to speak out about accusations of bigotry made by his younger brother, 37, and his sister-in-law during their sit-down with Winfrey, 67.
That interview revealed tensions between the brothers, who had long been seen as close and who supported each other after the death of their mother in 1997.
When asked about his relationship with William, Harry said: “Time heals all things, hopefully.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, California with their two children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.