Buckingham palace has released a rare statement to condemn the BBC’s new documentary about the royal family, saying the claims the show made are “overblown and unfounded”.

The extraordinary joint statement from Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House was aired during the two-part series titled Princes and the Press, which details how Prince Harry and Prince William have been treated by the media.

The royal family was reportedly furious when they were not given the chance to vet the documentary before it aired, and issued a blistering statement to the BBC ahead of the broadcast.

“A free, responsible and open Press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy,” the joint statement read.

“However, too often overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.”

The first episode of the series aired on Monday night and featured Omid Scobie, a journalist who co-authored Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s unofficial autobiography Finding Freedom.

Scobie claimed that unfavourable stories about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has been vetted by members of the royal household, while journalist Dan Wootton said officials “behind the scenes” has reached out to press amid growing frustrations with Harry and Meghan’s behaviour.

“There were some people who felt [Meghan] needed to be put in her place,” Scobie said during the documentary.

“I think by leaking a negative story, that’s punishment.”

The documentary also discussed rumours of “competitiveness” between members of the royal family, and aired reports of Meghan’s alleged “bullying” while in the palace.

Jenny Afia, a lawyer who had previously worked with Meghan, denied reports that the Duchess was “difficult” to work with.

“Those stories were false. This narrative that no one can work with the Duchess of Sussex that she was too difficult, demanding a boss, and that everyone had to leave is just not true,” she said.

It has been reported that officials at the BBC refused to allow Buckingham Palace advance footage of the first episode of the documentary, in order to eliminate any chance of censorship.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on Over60.