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GB News
GB News
6 Jan 2024

NextImg:BBC hits back after receiving 900 complaints over ‘biased’ King Charles documentary

The BBC has been hit with almost 900 complaints over a “biased” documentary about King Charles.

Complainants have suggested the documentary, which showed a behind-the-scenes look at King Charles’s Coronation, was too in favour of the monarchy and did not represent a wide enough range of opinions.

Charles III: Coronation Year, which aired on BBC One on Boxing Day, received a total of 897 complaints.

This number reportedly made up a third of the 2,665 “stage one” complaints about BBC programmes aired between 18-31 December 2023.

King Charles and Queen Camilla at Coronation

BBC hits back after receiving 900 complaints over ‘biased’ King Charles documentary

Getty Images

“We received complaints from some viewers who felt the tone of the programme was overly positive,” the BBC said in a summary of the complaints.

“Charles III: The Coronation Year is a one-off observational documentary that covers a period of historical significance when the King took on new duties and prepared for the first Coronation in this country for 70 years.

“It has unique access and captures personal moments as the King adapts to his new role. Editorial control is retained by the BBC.

“The BBC seeks to reflect a range of viewpoints in news and current affairs coverage of the monarchy.

The BBCBBC Broadcasting House PA

“Earlier in 2023, when documenting the Coronation, Panorama on BBC One examined the structures and finances that surround the Royal Family and featured a newly commissioned poll about attitudes to the monarchy.

“On Radio 4, the Today programme had a debate on whether the UK needs a monarchy and The World This Weekend looked at its future.

“Overall, we have explored a range of perspectives on the monarchy, and will continue to do so.”

The special documentary includes a number of interviews with key members of staff and members of the Royal Family, notably Princess Anne.

Princess AnnePrincess Anne arriving at King Charles's CoronationPA

In the 90-minute documentary, several other minor royals were mentioned or featured but a notable exception was the King’s son, Prince Harry.

The Duke of Sussex, who is fifth in line for the throne, was not mentioned at all during the programme but others who are far behind Harry in the Line of Succession, such as Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Prince Edward, and Lady Louise Windsor, all took centre stage at various points.

This is not the first time the BBC’s coverage of the royals has been scrutinised by the public as the Coronation in May received a total of 8,421 objections over a comment made by actress Adjoa Andoh where she described the Buckingham Palace balcony as “terribly white”.

Complaints were also raised over the BBC’s coverage of Prince Philip’s death as over 109,000 viewers complained it was too ubiquitous.