By Marie Claire Editors published
The royal family has not been thrilled with the recent BBC documentary The Princes and the Press. The two-part film, which aired its first installment last week and will air its second on November 29, has looked into the role the media have played in how Prince William and Prince Harry were brought up, and how the brothers continue to be dogged by—and to utilize—the press machine that surrounds them. Because the royals weren’t shown a screening before the film aired, the premiere has caused more damage to the widening rift between the BBC and the Firm, with the latter reportedly threatening to “boycott” the broadcaster.
But according to Express UK, the BBC has bowed to at least one demand from Prince Harry, even changing the second installment of the documentary before it airs: The filmmakers edited out the term “Megxit” to describe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure to the U.S. and from their royal duties. Prince Harry has been outspoken about the misogynistic connotations of the term, which some members of the press used when Harry and Meghan announced they would step down from their royal roles.
“Maybe people know this and maybe they don’t, but the term Megxit was or is a misogynistic term, and it was created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew into mainstream media. But it began with a troll,” Prince Harry told an audience while on a panel for Wired magazine earlier this month.
While it’s great that the documentarians have decided not to give any more airtime to a term that suggests, essentially, that Meghan and Harry are incapable of making their own independent choices, it’s unlikely that the gesture will smooth things over with the royals, who have been uncharacteristically united in their anger of the film. The family even released a rare statement, in which they responded to the documentary’s content:
"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."
The film also highlights the growing animosity the royal family reportedly feels toward the BBC, which stems from the broadcaster’s handling of its 1997 Princess Diana interview by Martin Bashir, and how it was arranged under false pretenses.
The first installment of The Princes and the Press included an apology from the private investigator who said he “robbed” Prince Harry of normal teen years because of how intensely the media were attempting to meddle in his personal life. The second installment, airing this week, will reportedly look into how the princes specifically used the press to undermine the other’s message at the height of their feud.
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