Royal staff angry over claims they didn’t help Harry and Meghan

A BBC documentary is likely to revive painful allegations that Prince Harry and wife Meghan did not get enough support while working members of the British royal family.

In scenes predicted to infuriate former and current Palace staff, the second episode of The Princes and the Press is expected to revisit allegations that the Duke of Sussex did not get as much help dealing with press intrusion as Prince William did. Allies of the Sussexes, including their biographer, who is interviewed for the programme, have consistently claimed that the couple were not defended against the tabloids’ output.

But those who worked for the princes say that they did their best to protect them in difficult circumstances.

The two-part documentary, presented by Amol Rajan, has caused so much upset at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace, that they released a rare joint statement calling its claims “overblown and unfounded”.

A carol concert starring William and Kate was offered to ITV – in preference to the BBC – reportedly angering the corporation.

Aides say the programme’s makers did not offer them a proper right of reply to allegations that were not put to them in full before broadcast.

They have refused to engage with the show, arguing it would give credibility to newspaper stories on which they have never commented.

In contrast, Meghan has authorised her lawyer, Jenny Afia, to defend her on the show against accusations of bullying former staff in the royal household and to discuss her recent court case against the Mail on Sunday.

The final episode, as well as a podcast focusing on Prince Harry, Meghan and the media, will be shown at 9pm tonight on BBC2 and examines the period of 2018 to 2021.

It promises to include details of a “tumultuous time for the royals” including the birth of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the royal tours of the Sussexes and the Cambridges, and the “circumstances surrounding the Sussexes’ decision to step down from their senior royal roles”.

It will also detail the various legal cases that have been launched by Prince Harry and Meghan, and “considers the impact Princess Diana’s experiences with the press and broadcasters had on her sons” – including the Martin Bashir scandal.

The first episode included claims – strongly denied – that information about the royal family came from within Buckingham Palace itself.

(© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2021)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]

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