Kate Middleton and Prince William Took Their Christmas Special Off the BBC After Controversial Documentary

The documentary pits Prince William against Prince Harry.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Visit Queen Elizabeth Hospital
(Image credit: Getty/WPA Pool/Pool)

Kate Middleton is hosting a Christmas carol concert live from Westminster Abbey on TV this year for the first time, and Prince William will be there to cheer her on.

The show was planned to air on the BBC, but the royals have reportedly pulled it from the channel after they aired the first part of a controversial documentary, which appeared to pit Prince William against Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The show will now air on British channel ITV instead.

"This is a real coup for ITV," a TV source told The Sun. "It is a brand new format — the royals have never hosted a televised TV concert before. And to have the Duchess leading on it is a big deal."

The source added, "Naturally most royal programming goes automatically to the BBC as the national broadcaster. Now it looks like they will work more with ITV in the future."

This will be a real blow for the BBC, apparently—and the rift could extend way beyond just this one show. "It will be a fantastic Christmas carol concert that will be TV gold for viewers at home," the source continued. "It was all arranged to be on BBC1 but it was switched in the last few days because of the terrible row over the documentary."

The Cambridges' decision to move away from the BBC came after they aired the first part of The Princes and the Press on Nov. 22. Part two will air on Nov. 29. "And things are likely to get a lot worse between the Royal Family and the BBC before they get better as the second part of the documentary threatens to go further."

Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace issued a joint statement to the BBC, which was shown after the program. It read, "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" (via Metro).

A royal source had told the Daily Mail ahead of the documentary airing, "There is upset about it. The households are all united in thinking this is not fair. No one at the Palace has seen it."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.