KEY POINTS

  • Amanda Platell accused the BBC documentary "The Princes and the Press" of being biased against the royal family
  • She described the series as a "hagiography" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  • The royal family earlier said in a statement that the documentary had made "overblown and unfounded claims"

A journalist who appeared in BBC's "The Princes and the Press" has slammed the documentary and its host, claiming she felt "utterly conned" over how she was portrayed in the series.

In a piece for the Daily Mail published days after the first episode of the two-part documentary aired, Amanda Platell, an Australian journalist and columnist currently based in the U.K., described the documentary as "a hatchet job" on the palace and the press and "a hagiography" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Platell claimed that BBC media editor Amol Rajan, the series' host, first asked her to be interviewed for the documentary eight months ago. According to Platell, she allegedly had "at least two hours of filmed conversation" with Rajan, whom she described as charming and self-deprecating.

However, she alleged that her hours-long interview had been reduced to "less than two minutes of selective quotes," adding in her piece, "I felt utterly conned." The journalist did not offer any other details about her alleged two-hour chat with Rajan.

Platell claimed that when she asked to be shown parts of their chat that might appear in the second episode, Rajan allegedly told her it was "impossible to share" the clips with her ahead of the airing and that they were "still working on the program."

Platell noted that the first episode of the documentary only highlighted two of her Daily Mail columns that were critical of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge even though she had written a number of columns in the royal couple's favor.

The Australian journalist also accused the documentary of allowing Markle's lawyer Jenny Afia to speak "at length and unchallenged" and giving "disproportionate prominence" to Omid Scobie, co-author of a "fawning" biography about the duchess and Prince Harry, without offering the royal family the same opportunity.

"I’m deeply ashamed to be associated with 'The Princes and the Press' and feel let down by Amol Rajan, who I believe misled me," Platell wrote, before alleging, "It seemed I was being used to bolster Meghan's case."

"The Princes and the Press" featured a column Platell wrote in December 2017, titled "Can Kate cope with Meghan mania?" When asked by the host why she wrote the piece, Platell explained that, unlike her sister-in-law, Middleton "never had crowds screaming at her."

"I remember one of Meghan's first events was done at Brixton at a radio station," the journalist said, recalling Prince Harry and Markle's visit to Reprezent 107.3 FM radio station in Brixton, south London, in January 2018. "It was like a rock star had arrived and wouldn’t you just be a little bit human to think, ‘What about me?'"

Rajan also questioned Platell about the comparisons of Markle and Middleton, asking her why one of the duchesses "must be down" when the other "is up" in terms of perceived popularity.

"Perhaps it’s just human nature. Some of the narratives about public figures reflect what goes on in people’s real lives," she responded.

Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace earlier issued a joint statement voicing their concerns about the documentary, which examines the dynamic between Prince William, Prince Harry and the press throughout their lives. The statement was shown at the end of the program when it aired Monday.

"A free, responsible and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy," the statement read, according to Evening Standard. "However, too often it is overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources that are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility."

In response, the BBC defended its documentary, saying in a statement that the series was "about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry."

The second part of "The Princes and the Press" will air Monday.

The queen's eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, 72, on Saturday paid his own heartfelt tribute to his father, saying he and the royal family missed him "enormously The queen's eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, 72, on Saturday paid his own heartfelt tribute to his father, saying he and the royal family missed him "enormously" Photo: POOL / TIM GRAHAM