Princess Diana's Friend Says Prince Harry and William Documentary Could Cost BBC

A Prince Harry and Prince William documentary could lead to the BBC being cut out of Platinum Jubilee coverage, according to Princess Diana's journalist friend.

The brothers and their relationship with the media is at the center of a two-part series hosted by journalist Amol Rajan that broadcast its first episode in Britain earlier this week.

The Princes and the Press featured interviews with prominent journalists and a star turn from Meghan's lawyer Jenny Afia, of Schillings, who was briefly shown denying the duchess was difficult to work for.

Many of the interviews were filmed more than a year ago, before Meghan and Harry's Oprah Winfrey interview and before the leak of an email accusing the duchess of bullying her staff.

However, the show's profile was sent stratospheric when anonymous sources told The Mail on Sunday of anger within all three households of the royal family that had the potential to spiral into a royal boycott of the BBC.

The briefing to the tabloid appeared to be confirmed when the first episode aired featuring a rare joint statement denouncing the show from Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.

Now, journalist Richard Kay, one of the last people Princess Diana spoke to before her death in 1997, has said it could harm the BBC's coverage of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee next year.

Kay wrote in The Daily Mail: "In the documentary, called The Princes And The Press, self-declared republican Mr Rajan picks through highly selective media stories about William and Harry.

"In response, the palace, in a rare display of unity, has threatened a boycott of future dealings with the national broadcaster that could have widespread implications.

"Such an embargo could affect programs related to next year's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

"The palaces were also angered at the way many of the assertions made in the film—interventions they characterized as 'tittle tattle'—were permitted to go unquestioned."

Prince Harry and Prince William
Prince William and Prince Harry, seen on the 100th anniversary of the First World War battle of Vimy Ridge, in Lille, France, on April 9, 2017, are at the center of BBC documentary The Princes and the Press. The BBC have been under pressure over the two-part series. Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Queen celebrates 70 years on the throne next year with parades, a concert and other events taking place over a long weekend in early June.

It is unclear whether the makers of The Princes and the Press were ever expected to be personally involved in the BBC's coverage.

However, if the state broadcaster were to be shoved out by the palace then the backlash would represent a significant dent in the credibility of its royal reporting.

There has already been feverish coverage in the British press with a focus on the fact Afia, Meghan's attorney, was given an on-camera interview while the palace was denied the chance to see the one-hour episodes before broadcast.

Omid Scobie, the co-author of Meghan and Harry biography Finding Freedom, also drew attention from newspapers including The Daily Mail and The Sun.

He told the BBC documentary: "There's been rumor for quite some time that a lot of the most damaging and negative stories about Harry and Meghan that have ended up in the pages of the press have come from other royal households or from other royal aides or courtiers and from my own reporting and research that is exactly true."

The palace response read: "A free, responsible and open Press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy.

"However, too often overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility."

Robert Jobson, another contributor and author of biographies of Prince Charles, Prince Philip and Prince William, appeared to back Scobie in an interview on Australian TV's Sunrise.

Asked whether the palace had been leaking, the royal correspondent said: "Without a doubt. Absolutely. They can deny it all they like until they're blue in the face, but there's been an awful lot of leaking particularly from Kensington Palace about how things were developing."

Jobson wrote the biography Prince Charles at 70: Our Future King, which contained quotes from an anonymous source saying Harry had been "petulant" before the royal wedding.

He wrote: "The weeks leading up to the wedding had been far more tense for both Harry and Meghan than most people realized.

"In the build-up to the wedding, says an inside source, he was 'petulant and short-tempered' with members of staff.

"Raising his voice on occasion, Harry would insist: 'What Meghan wants, she gets'."

The book was serialized in The Daily Mail in October 2018 shortly before a series of negative stories appeared in the British press across November and December that year, which are discussed in the documentary.