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Turning the Press Into Their PR Agency: King Charles’ Palace Podcast

Following a disagreement over the coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, questions have been raised about whether or not the royal family is “no longer pro-democracy,” according to co-host Kristen Meinzer of The Royal Report podcast.

Supposedly, Buckingham Palace asked the U.K. The BBC, ITV, and Sky News were tasked with compiling an hour-long reel of authorized footage from ceremonies honoring the queen’s passing.

Without first obtaining consent from the palace, all additional footage would not have been permitted for licensing, for example, to upcoming documentary filmmakers.

A discussion about whether the palace was attempting to censor the official record of how Britain recognized Elizabeth’s death after 70 years on the throne erupted in response to the move, which was reported by The Guardian.

It just seems like a really bad attempt at making the press into their PR agency, and the press shouldn’t be their PR agency, Meinzer, co-host of The Royal Report, said on the Newsweek podcast. Since a strong democracy depends on a free press, it should be free.

Is the royal family actually stating that they no longer support democracy? What are they saying, they’re no longer pro-democracy? We only want the media to report things that make us look good. They favor censorship, right?

As someone who has worked in production, I just have to say that this is too much work. “They wanted the wall-to-wall coverage,” Meinzer said. “And then they put all of these outlets on a very regimented schedule of what they can use.

“It’s too demanding, and it basically tells the press that we don’t value their work. The only thing we really want to be serious about is our reputation.

After industry insiders informed the U.K., the dispute was made public. British networks were worried about the effects of the palace’s rules, according to the newspaper The Guardian.

A 12-minute clip from the funeral service at Westminster Abbey in London, a 12-minute clip from the committal service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, and a few minutes of footage from vigils at Westminster Hall in London and St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh were all to be included in the one-hour reel.

A video of Charles becoming irate over a pen left on a tiny desk during an accession council meeting, however, sparked even more controversy.

According to The Guardian, the palace was to have a veto over any footage of the entire event, and other clips would also require permission before being used.

The co-host of The Royal Report, Jack Royston, said: “I believe this was an extraordinary decision. Although we actually live in the digital age, it feels like policy is being developed as though we were still in the 1990s.

“This has already been recorded by people. The most upsetting videos from this entire time period have already taken over TikTok and Twitter.

“There is already content available on YouTube, and it is all available. The only real effect of this is that the mainstream media, which is likely to be more respectful in how they approach some of these questions, won’t be able to examine what actually occurred, according to Royston.

Which implies that as a result, people will rely even more heavily on the versions that circulate on social media.

Royston continued, “It’s an unnecessary battle, and do you really want to upset the media at this early stage of Charles’ rule?”

Do you have a question you’d like our knowledgeable royal correspondents to address about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family? Write to royals@newsweek.com. Please get in touch with us.

Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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