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Why the BBC changed the title of its controversial Meghan Markle documentary

·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The second part of the BBC's documentary, exploring Prince William and Prince Harry's relationship with the press, has had its title changed after it was branded "sexist" by Prince Harry himself. The episode, which was initially titled Megxit, will now be titled Sussexit – it comes just a few weeks after the Duke of Sussex referred to Megxit as a "misogynistic term."

"Maybe people know this and maybe they don’t, but the term Megxit was or is a misogynistic term, and it was created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew into mainstream media. But it began with a troll," Prince Harry said while speaking on a panel called the Internet Lie Machine, organised by US magazine Wired. The term was widely adopted by the public and the press to refer to the Sussexes' decision to step down as Senior Royals last year and move to Montecito, California.

The first half of The Princes and the Press, titled The New Generation, aired last Monday on the BBC, and explored the relationship between Prince William, Prince Harry and the media. The episode also claimed that sources close to the royal household gave briefings to journalists. The second half of the series will air at 9pm tonight and is expected to take a deep-dive into William and Harry's rumoured rift as well as the legal cases the Sussexes brought against a number of British newspapers.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The two-part documentary has already received strong criticism from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace, who issued a joint statement in response. "A free, responsible and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy," the statement read. "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 light of the documentary, Buckingham Palace has apparently threatened to boycott future programming with the BBC, although an insider source at the channel said this had come as a "surprise."

"It’s almost a masterclass in how not to do PR. All they have managed to do is bolster the viewing figures and spin a completely inaccurate narrative that bears no resemblance to the programme that aired," the source said [via Evening Standard]. "And as for threatening the BBC saying the Palace will no longer co-operate, it’s completely over the top. The Palace can’t control the narrative of every documentary about the royals on the BBC. As for not being given a right to reply, of course they were given that right."

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