Meghan Markle and Harry: Expert discusses couple's future
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The BBC said it received a number of complaints about the coverage made by royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell. The complaints centred around the journalist’s commentary on the relationship between royal brothers William and Harry during the televised funeral service. But despite the backlash, the BBC is standing by their reporter and said his remarks were “legitimate, impartial and proportionate”.
The BBC did not detail how many complaints of this nature were made.
In a statement shared on the BBC complaints board, the broadcast said: “We received complaints from people unhappy that Nicholas Witchell offered analysis about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge, when reporting on the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
The BBC went on to detail what their response had been to the complaints.
They said: “Our Royal Correspondent, Nicholas Witchell, reported in detail on the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, reflecting its historic and national significance, remembering the life and achievements of the Duke, while also examining what this moment meant for The Royal Family.
“The relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William has been a focus of interest in recent weeks.
“In this context, Nicholas offered analysis of the implications of this solemn event on The Royal Family, and what could be construed about current family relations from what was seen at the funeral.
“This was a legitimate, impartial and proportionate part of the coverage of this story.”
Ahead of the funeral there had been much speculation on how the two brothers will respond to each other, as it marked the first face-to-face meeting in over a year.
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It also marked the first time Harry had reunited with the Royal Family since his controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey aired last month.
As a result, all eyes were on the brothers during the funeral procession, which much being said about the decision for their cousin Peter Phillips to stand between as they walked behind the coffin.
But at the conclusion of the service, Harry and William were filmed walking side-by-side as they walked back to Windsor Castle.
William’s wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, also joined them on the short walk.
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It is not known what was said during the exchange but it was seen as hugely significant and a sign that relations were starting to thaw between the pair.
Royal expert Robert Jobson said of the chat: “I think it [the conversation] was quite significant, especially for Harry.
“I hope that it is baby steps in the right direction.”
The fallout between the pair has been well documented in recent years, with Harry acknowledging the rift in recent TV interviews.
Twice he has said the pair are “on different paths”.
William also appeared to react with fury to claims made in his brother’s sit-down chat with Oprah Winfrey, where the couple accused an unnamed member of the Royal Family of racism.
In response to the accusation, William told reporters: “We are very much not a racist family.”
The BBC’s latest complaint about its royal coverage comes after a record 110,000 people complained about the BBC’s coverage of Prince Philip’s death on April 9.
Viewers criticised the broadcaster’s back-to-back royal coverage and cancellation of planned programmes.
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