Royal Family Slam 'Unfounded Claims' in Documentary on Prince Harry and Prince William

The Royal Family have denounced a new documentary about Prince Harry and Prince William in a rare joint statement describing "overblown and unfounded claims."

Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House issued a collective reply to the makers of The Princes and the Press, broadcast in Britain last night, November 22.

The show featured interviews, mainly with journalists, who discussed rumored leaks from within Kensington Palace, including about whether Meghan Markle was difficult to work for.

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."

It comes after Prince William in May accused the BBC of fuelling Princess Diana's "fear, paranoia and isolation" in her final years.

The Duke of Cambridge made his statement in response to an independent inquiry that found journalist Martin Bashir faked financial records to suggest Diana's staff had betrayed her as part of a campaign to persuade her into giving a now famous BBC Panorama interview.

Bashir stepped down from his role as the BBC's religion editor in May, with the corporation citing "ongoing health issues."

Part one of the new documentary charted Harry and William's dealings with the media from 2012 through to the end of 2018.

Much of the focus was on how the media reacted to Meghan and Harry's relationship, including a period when anonymous sources quoted in the British press suggested Meghan was difficult to work for.

Omid Scobie, the co-author of Meghan and Harry biography Finding Freedom, told the latest 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."

Meghan's lawyer, Jenny Afia, told the two-part series that stories in which Meghan was nicknamed "duchess difficult" were false.

Camilla Tominey, associate editor of The Daily Telegraph, told the documentary: "We were getting briefings that all was not well with the relationship between William and Harry, Meghan and Kate and the relationship between Harry and Meghan and the royal household."

She added: "If you're suddenly hearing a lot of chatter about things not being well behind palace gates you sort of take it seriously because normally everything's levelled off and things are played down.

"You hear a little bit of chatter and then you go and investigate further and you hear more chatter, that suggests something is going down."

The documentary also examined an article in The Sun newspaper which suggested Queen Elizabeth II was dragged into a dispute with Harry and Meghan over which tiara the then soon-to-be duchess would wear on her wedding day.

Dan Wootton, who wrote the story and is now a presenter on GB News, told the BBC: "It actually took about six months for it to get out after the wedding. So, when people like to say, 'oh, the press, you were going for Harry and Meghan, you had it in for Harry and Meghan,' I completely disagree.

"It was actually these people behind the scenes who started to get annoyed before anything was in the public domain."

He added: "At that point no national newspaper had dared to really dive into this huge war that was developing behind the scenes.

"Part of it was that no one in the royal rota was prepared to break this story either. So it did take someone like me to come in as an outsider and actually say 'no, no, I'm going to do it.' So we dipped our toe in I guess."

Prince Harry, Prince William and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince William attend the Commonwealth Day Service, on March 9, 2020, during the Sussexes final royal job. A new BBC documentary about the trio has been denounced by the royal family. Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Images