Buckingham Palace Doesn't Want Queen's Funeral Shown Again in Full

Buckingham Palace has made an "unwise move" in seeking to restrict the right of U.K. broadcasters to re-use footage they shot themselves at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

President Joe Biden was among world leaders who flew to London to take part in the biggest state even of its kind that Britain has ever hosted on September 19, 2022.

Around 28 million people watched on TVs across Britain, according to the BBC, while Reuters reported 11.4 million watched in America.

However, some of the footage already broadcast may never be shown again—at least, not by networks in Britain.

According to The Guardian, a dispute has broken out between major U.K. TV channels who filmed the historic moment and Buckingham Palace, who attempted to restrict future use of material from ceremonial events during the 11-day mourning period to an hour's worth of clips to be agreed with courtiers.

That includes not only clips from the day of the funeral itself, but also a series of vigils and proclamations beforehand.

Buckingham Palace has declined to comment.

Queen's Funeral as Covered by Media
Broadcast cameras [right] prepare to cover Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in Windsor and London, while King Charles III and Prince William [left] walk behind the 96-year-old monarch's coffin. Broadcasters have been locked in a dispute with Buckingham Palace over footage. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

Professor Tim Luckhurst, principal of South College at Durham University, told Newsweek: "I think it's a mistake. I'm not anti the royal family. Indeed I think the constitutional settlement, however eccentric it may appear to foreigners, is in fact in Britain's interests and in the interest of stability.

"But it's based on compromise and that compromise has always involved a very, very mutually beneficial relationship.

"Ever since the emergence of BBC Radio in the 1920s the royal family has trusted broadcasters, particularly the BBC, in a way that it didn't trust newspapers and it has benefitted as a result from extremely positive coverage for much of the period.

"I think that seeking to exercise rather authoritarian control over footage that broadcasters have, after all, spent a fortune in creating is an unwise move and it's one that speaks of insecurity.

"That rather illustrates the extent of the problem. His mother didn't make mistakes in public and as a result didn't have reason to be concerned about how things were depicted."

The BBC, ITV and Sky News were asked to prepare an hour-long reel, including 12 minutes from the funeral service at Westminster Abbey, 12 minutes from the committal service from St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a few minutes from each of the vigils at Westminster Hall, London, and St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh.

The palace would also have a veto over film from the Accession Council meeting where King Charles III famously became frustrated with a pen left on a too small desk.

Remaining footage would then need to be approved on a case-by-case basis by the palace, according to The Guardian's report.

Luckhurst added: "If the king is going to lose his temper over a faulty pen then the lesson really should be don't lose your temper over a faulty pen, not censor the broadcasters for demonstrating that you have done so."

Laura Clancy, lecturer at Lancaster University and author of royal book Running the Family Firm, told Newsweek: "I think its pretty bold to try to do it in the age of digital media when everybody was recording and I don't know how possible that will be.

"I think its indicative of perhaps a larger problem of accountability in the media."

She added: "I think the issue is those quite cosy relationship between the palace and broadcasters and what that then does to making sure there's a responsibility and they're held to account and there's appropriate critical coverage.

"I think its a bigger problem that they have those relationships to be able to do that in 2022."

The saga comes after Prince William also managed to pressure the BBC into restricting use of archive footage of an interview Princess Diana gave in 1995 in which she spoke on camera about Charles' affair with Camilla, now Queen Consort.

Peter Hunt, a former BBC royal correspondent, wrote on Twitter: "This comes hard on the heels of the BBC agreeing to Prince William's demand to never again broadcast Diana's Panorama interview.

"The King is clearly hoping this latest censorship will include footage of #pengate part 1 and #pengate part 2."