‘It’s lethal!’ Royal Family rift branded ‘destructive and damaging’ for monarchy

Princes and the Press: Prince William left feeling 'very raw'

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The second half of the explosive ‘The Princes and the Press’ documentary aired tonight on BBC Two. The programme follows the relationship between the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the press, from 2018 to the present day. The documentary claims that William and Harry’s households briefed against each other in a way comparable to Prince Charles and Princess Diana during their tumultuous marriage.

Last week, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence house released a joint statement, blasting the “overblown and unfounded claims” in the documentary.

They said it was “disappointing” that the BBC would give credibility to such claims.

However, the corporation hit back, arguing that the programme was “about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry”.

In tonight’s episode, the programme examines what happened after Harry and his wife Meghan Markle split from Kensington Palace, where they had previously shared staff with William and his wife Kate.

They set up their own household within Buckingham Palace, with their own aides and communications teams ready to brief on their behalf.

Veteran broadcaster Andrew Marr, who is the author of the book ‘The Diamond Queen’, claimed that the “gap” that appeared in the Royal Family allowed for “destructive journalism”.

He said: “They have allowed a gap to appear. Through that gap, very destructive journalism will follow and flow.

“And I think therefore this division is potentially lethal ‒ very, very damaging for the whole Royal Family.”

Valentine Low, royal correspondent for The Times, agreed with this assessment.

He said: “Gaps within the Royal Family have fed stories like this for a long time.

“I mean, if you go back to Charles and Diana, that was when there were serious briefing wars going on, when the two different sides would have their favourite papers and their favourite reporters and they would tell them what’s going on.

“And this is what’s happened in a broad sense with Harry and Meghan and William and Kate, stories have been briefed to different people.”

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Roya Nikkhah, royal editor of the Sunday Times, added that the fact the households were separate “fuelled” the media coverage.

She told the BBC: “For a long time, William and Harry shared a household, but then of course, when they divided they had their own separate aides and their own separate communications team, who brief.

“And that fuels a lot of the media coverage.”

Watch ‘The Princes and the Press’ on BBC iPlayer.

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