BROADCASTERS are in a row with the royal family over rights to use footage of the Queen’s funeral and surrounding events, as Buckingham Palace insisted that media organisations could only keep an hour of video for future use.
ITV, Sky News and the BBC are among those who have been told they have until Monday to curate a 60-minute segment of clips from official events held in the 10-day mourning period. Once received, the royal household will consider if they want to rule out particular bits of footage.
Once the compilations have been approved, most of the other footage from the events will be removed from circulation and usage of unapproved clips will require permission on a case-by-case basis.
Speaking to The Guardian, one journalist familiar with the negotiations said: “It’s completely illogical and doesn’t make sense.
“We’re furious that they’re trying to restrict how people can relive sombre but important historic events.”
The talks have further revealed how the royal family has influenced coverage of the Queen’s death and subsequent events.
Stewart Purvis, former editor of ITN, said the move is as good as self-censorship.
Buckingham Palace has been contacted for comment.
This follows previous reports of several clips from the Queen’s memorial service being vetoed from future use by the monarchy. Staff working for the royal family had a Whatsapp group with senior employees of the BBC, ITV and Sky News, which was used as a means for the monarchy to shape the content being broadcast.
An employee of the palace reportedly updated the broadcasters every five minutes to either approve or ban the use of the previous block of footage.
While the practice was reluctantly accepted among the TV channels, the row has now focussed on who controls the narrative in the wake of the Queen’s death.
One journalist said: “We all get that moments of individual distress might not want to be revisited. That’s a different decision to having a wide shot removed.”
According to reports, the royal household has said broadcasters can keep 12 minutes of footage from the funeral, 12 minutes from the Windsor Castle committal service and just a few minutes from each of the vigils in Westminster Hall and St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.
A critical issue raised in the row is the monarchy’s claim that it can veto the use of video from King Charles’s accession council, with concerns that footage of the King appearing annoyed by a pen on his desk will be banned from future use.
Broadcasters have been told they will only be allowed up to 12 minutes of video from the event.
It is believed the palace has also flagged concerns over a clip of Mike Tindall, husband of the late Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, looking at his watch while attending the Queen lying in state.
Speaking to LBC, Purvis said he was worried the monarchy has claimed the ability to take footage out of circulation once it has already been broadcast.
He said: “Once it’s been transmitted, once we recorded in our own homes and our own video recorders and suddenly we’re being told that certain sequences didn’t happen, we can’t show them again and it’s just unrealistic.
“There’s no other way of interpreting that than effectively not censorship but basically self-censorship. It was wonderful coverage and I think the palace will reflect that they have made a mistake.”