A BBC documentary is set to resurrect painful allegations that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not receive adequate support while in the Royal family, amid fears that the appearance of their lawyer on the controversial show will turn it into a one-sided narrative.
The second episode of Princes and the Press is expected to revisit claims that the Duke of Sussex did not receive the same support as the Duke of Cambridge in dealing with an intrusive press, in scenes that will frustrate former and current palaces staff.
A carol concert featuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was reportedly offered to ITV over the BBC due to dissatisfaction with the corporation.
Aides believe the program’s producers did not provide them with a proper right of reply, claiming that the allegations were not presented to them in full before broadcast.
They have not participated in the show, claiming that it would lend undue credibility to newspaper stories mentioned in it, on which they have never commented.
In contrast, the Duchess of Sussex has given permission for her lawyer, Jenny Afia, to appear on camera to defend her against allegations of bullying former Royal Household staff 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 air on Monday and will include the years 2018 to 2021.
It promises to include information about a “tumultuous time for the royals,” such as the birth of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, royal tours by the Sussexes and Cambridges, and the “circumstances surrounding the Sussexes’ decision to step down from their senior royal roles.”
It will also go over Prince Harry and Meghan’s various legal cases, as well as “consider the impact Princess Diana’s experiences with the press and broadcasters had on her sons,” including the Martin Bashir scandal.
The show is set to air just as the Prince of Wales arrives in Barbados to witness it become a republic in a historic ceremony.
The first episode included claims, which were strongly denied, that briefings on members of the Royal family came from within the palace itself.
Former BBC Royal Correspondent Peter Hunt claimed no serious briefing between the three households would occur without the “approval of the principal”, saying: “So you have to assume they’ve done it with the knowledge of whoever they were working for.”
A joint statement provided by Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace in response to the show said: “A free, responsible, and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy.
“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.”
A BBC spokeswoman said: “The program is about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry.”