BBC bosses have shelved a controversial documentary about the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death after legal pressure from Prince Charles, it has been claimed.
The two-part documentary ‘Reinventing The Royals’ has been axed from its prime-time 9pm slot this Sunday.
It claims that the Royal Family employed PR experts who used controversial ‘spin’ tactics to make Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles more appealing to the public after Diana was killed in 1997.
Presented by former Panorama Editor Steve Hewlett, the hour-long documentary had already been included in BBC schedules after being cleared by BBC lawyers, the corporation’s editorial policy team and at the highest level of management.
However it is understood it was put on hold at the last minute by BBC news chief James Harding after lawyers acting on behalf of Charles and Camilla wrote of their concerns to the BBC.
The decision to postpone the programme was backed by the Director General Tony Hall.
It came so late that details of its content had already been given to the Radio Times.
The documentary includes the first TV interview with Sandy Henney, who was press secretary to Prince Charles when Diana died.
She said: “I remember briefing one of our private secretaries on the phone saying, ‘I know you’re seeing this on television but you really have to be here to feel the atmosphere.
‘The people here are really anti-monarchy.’ I was really worried about where it was going to go.”
A BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC is delaying broadcast of the documentary Reinventing The Royals, due to be shown on BBC Two on January 4, until later in the New Year while a number of issues including the use of archive footage are resolved.”
A spokeswoman for Clarence House refused to say whether or not royal lawyers had been in touch over the documentary and said: “Scheduling is a matter for the broadcaster.”