Another sign that the British royal family are prepared to explicitly fight back against what it sees as unfounded allegations against them by Prince Harry and Meghan’s supporters has emerged in the dramatic last-minute edit of a British television documentary Sunday night, reportedly at the behest of the royals.
British terrestrial network ITV dramatically cut footage of journalist Omid Scobie claiming that Prince William’s staff at Kensington Palace planted a media story questioning the state of Prince Harry’s mental health. Scobie had claimed that William’s team planted the story after Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interviews with journalist Tom Bradby in South Africa in 2019. In the course of that interview, Meghan famously thanked Bradby for asking if she was OK, saying “not many people” had asked her that. Harry, in his interview with Bradby, confirmed there were tensions between him and his brother, saying they were on “different paths.”
The Daily Mail reports that ITV ditched a key phrase from an interview with Scobie, the journalist who wrote the sympathetic biography of the Sussexes, Finding Freedom, in the show Harry and William: What Went Wrong?
It had previously been reported that the show featured Scobie saying: “I would say that it was no coincidence that it was shortly after that aired, even the next day, there were source quotes that came from a senior aide at Kensington Palace saying that William was worried about his brother’s mental health.”
In the actual version of the show which screened last night, Scobie’s comment was cut and the words, “about his brother’s mental health” were excised.
The Mail says that Kensington Palace, on seeing advance reports of Scobie’s comments in show, “contacted the producers in relation to… Scobie’s suggestion that William had expressed a ‘concern’ about his brother’s mental health, which the author had no evidence to support.”
The Mail adds that after “carefully considering” the request, ITV “chose to remove any reference to mental health from the sequence, although they chose to keep in Mr Scobie’s comment about an alleged briefing from Kensington Palace relating to Harry.”
The Mail suggests that Kensington Palace hinted at legal action, telling ITV “that such a suggestion, if it formed part of the ITV program, would be defamatory in that it was substantially untrue.”
The documentary itself, screened on ITV last night, featuring extensive input from The Daily Beast contributor Robert Lacey, author of the newly updated book Battle of Brothers, was a comprehensive and fast-paced account of the collapse of the relationship between Harry and Meghan and the royal family.
The Daily Beast has reported that the palace is preparing to give up its long held principle of not complaining about press coverage it views as misleading or inaccurate.
This latest incident seems to be evidence of that new policy.