One of the UK’s most revered broadcasters has revealed the level of control exerted by the British Royal Family over broadcasters’ rights for the Queen’s funeral.
David Dimbleby, one of the BBC’s presenters for the huge service last month, told Henley Book Festival, that as he broadcast from St George’s Chapel in Windsor – where the Queen was buried in the final ceremony of the day – the BBC was receiving emails “almost simultaneously” from palace officials, dictating which clips of footage could not be shown in any subsequent broadcast.
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Dimbleby told the Festival: “Prince George touching his nose, don’t show it. And it went on. Beatrice and Eugenie leaving St George’s, not to be shown.
“There was this complete list of things that no broadcaster could show because the copyright belongs to Buckingham Palace. I think that’s wrong, just wrong.”
Dimbleby also voiced his disapproval for the way the BBC tip-toes around the British monarchy, and refuses to tackle the more sensitive topics of money, privilege and deference.
Such an opinion is nothing new, but this time it comes from David Dimbleby, for decades the BBC’s face and voice on state occasions. He is also the son of the late Richard Dimbleby, who commentated on the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
Dimbleby, now retired, said the BBC “would not go near things like the power that the palace has to change taxation legislation” or whether it was right for the Duchy of Cornwall not to pay capital gains tax.
“All those issues are never touched by the BBC because I think they feel their viewers will not like it — a visceral feeling. I think it is wrong and these things should be properly examined.
“It is not discourteous to question, it is not rude, it is important, because the way we are governed is important and the way our constitution works is important.”
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