Prince William's Feud With the BBC Is Escalating, Insiders Claim

He is not happy right now.

The Duke Of Cambridge Introduces New Workplace Mental Health Initiatives
(Image credit: Getty/Chris Jackson)

The BBC is the national broadcaster of the U.K., and therefore often the first port of call for royals when they reach out to the media (the Queen's annual Christmas speech is broadcast on the BBC, for example). But the relationship between the company and the royal family may have been soured indefinitely, new reports claim.

Over the weekend, there were reports that royals might "boycott" the BBC as they prepared to air the first part of controversial documentary The Princes and the Press on Nov. 22. After the episode aired, Kate Middleton and Prince William took their live Christmas carol concert away from the BBC and gave it to ITV instead.

The royals were reportedly upset about not being allowed to watch the documentary in advance, but were given a "right of reply." They issued the following statement, which was shown at the end of the episode: "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."

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (C) attends The Royal Foundation's Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium in London

(Image credit: Getty/Andrew Matthews)

It sounds like Prince William is the most affected by the BBC's decisions. "It’s fair to say that while the response to what has happened is being driven by the duke, there is complete unity among all three royal households," a source told the Daily Mail. "You really couldn’t get a cigarette paper between them. There is a serious issue of integrity at stake here."

Apparently, it's not just the documentary that has upset the duke, but that it was aired on the back of the whole saga surrounding Martin Bashir's 1995 interview with Princess Diana. "The whole Bashir scandal is still very raw for him—and now this," a friend told the Daily Mail.

It's not yet known what action the royal family will take against the BBC, and the paper reports that they will wait until episode two airs on Nov. 29 to make a decision.

In a statement, BBC chairman Richard Sharp stood by the decision to air the documentary.

"The BBC is a national institution and we approach our relationships with the other national institutions with great care and thought," Sharp said.

"The Royal Family is at the centre of our identity. Its underlying importance is unequivocal and we have tremendous respect for all aspects of the Royal Family in all that they undertake and do.

"From time to time, this organisation produces programmes that may or may not meet with full agreement with different parts of the Establishment and that is as true of government, that could be true of the judiciary, could be true of other important parts of our society.

"Our job is to get that right, is to be independent, to be respectful and fair."

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 British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. 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.