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They authorised a lawyer to defend them against certain claims.
By now, you’ve likely seen – and if not, at least heard of – the new BBC documentary, Princes and the Press.
The first installment aired last night and the Royal family has issued a rare statement sharing their frustrations about the corporation’s lack of transparency.
They had requested to see the two-part documentary prior to public streaming, but they weren’t allowed, despite BBC guidelines dictating all news and current affairs documentaries must allow subjects of their journalism to “right of reply”.
While the rest of the Royal family are united in their stand against the BBC and the documentary – they have said they may not work with the BBC again, as a result – one senior Royal member actually did cooperate with documentary makers.
They even dispatched a lawyer to appear on the documentary to deny claims about them.
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, asked her lawyer to appear to deny the rumours that she was a “difficult or demanding” boss when working officially as a senior Royal, and further rebuke claims that she personally drove staff to leave.
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Jenny Afia, a lawyer at Schillings Law firm, appeared on camera in the documentary at the instruction of Markle.
None of the other Royal family members cooperated with the programme.
All three households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – are reportedly highly frustrated by the fact they were not granted the right to reply.
Their joint statement to the show – which was shown on screen at the end of the documentary – stated that they find it disappointing when credibility is given to “overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources”.
It went on: “A free, responsible and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy.”
Afia has further represented Meghan in court during her case against the Mail on Sunday.
The claims about Meghan being difficult to work with first emerged in 2018.
Presenting the programme, Amol Rajan said: “The Duchess’s lawyer spoke to me with Meghan’s permission.”
Discussing the claims, Afia said: “Those stories were false.”
“This narrative that no-one could work for the Duchess of Sussex, that she was too difficult or demanding a boss, and that everyone had to leave, is just not true.”
“The overall allegation is that the Duchess of Sussex is guilty of bullying.”
When asked “and is she?” by Rajan, Afia added: “Absolutely not”
It is thought the Queen is worried the show will further fuel unsubstantiated rumours.
The second episode is due to air next Monday.
Peter Hunt, the BBC’s former royal correspondent, said briefings from William’s household about Harry and vice versa “did not happen during the chunk of time I was there”.
“You have to assume they’ve only done it if they have the approval of the principal,” he said of briefing by current or former staff.
“So you have to assume they’ve done it with the knowledge of whoever they were working for.”
“And I guess it’s an indication of what at that point wasn’t in the public domain, which was the fracturing of the relationship between these two brothers.”
Author of Finding Freedom – the authorised Royal biography about Harry and Meghan – Omid Scobie has said: “There’s been rumours that a lot of the most damaging and negative stories about Harry and Meghan that have appeared in the press have come from other royal households or other royal aides or courtiers.”
“And from my own reporting that is exactly true.”