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Controversial BBC Royal Family doc the Queen had banned as new show causes upset

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A new BBC documentary exposing the alleged bitter clash between Prince Harry and Prince William has sparked fury from Buckingham Palace – but it isn’t the first time the royals have fumed over a Beeb series.

In 1969, a fly-on-the-wall film simply called 'Royal Family' that showed an extraordinarily rare insight into the life of British royalty was released.

It shocked the public with candid scenes that included the Queen munching a picnic, pondering over outfit choices, and taking a four-year-old Prince Edward to the shop for ice cream.

But the 90-minute documentary, filmed over a period of 12 months by a BBC crew, proved too much for the Queen and she abruptly ordered it to stop being shown in 1972.

She claimed it was ruining the "Palace’s mystique" and despite its intention to revive public interest in the British monarchy, it was just too damaging to show.

Since then, it has been fiercely protected by the Royal Family through law.

In January, raw footage of the film made its way onto YouTube and was watched by thousands of people – but it was swiftly removed by a furious royal team.

One clip in the secretive film shows a young Queen Elizabeth making small talk with former US President Richard Nixon and telling him: "World problems are so complex, aren't they, now?"

Another shows Her Majesty driving her own car and Prince Charles catching fish.

When the show was first broadcast, it was a huge hit with the public.

A whopping three-quarters of the British population tuned in for the episodes – and it was so popular that during the break a water shortage was caused from everyone flushing their toilets at once.

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But since its strict ban, members of the monarchy have criticised the show, with Princess Anne labelling it as a "rotten idea" and saying they didn’t need any more attention.

Although the 1969 documentary was successfully pulled from public view, today’s royals are having trouble ordering the BBC to censor its new show, The Princes And The Press.

Despite the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William joining forces to threaten a boycott, it is set to air at 9pm on BBC2 tomorrow (Monday).

Presented by Amol Rajan, who has previously slammed the whole idea of monarchy as "absurd" and once described Prince Charles as "scientifically illiterate,” claims the two-part documentary promises to tell "the definitive story of one of the most dramatic periods in royal history for a generation”.

But royal sources have condemned the documentary as “tittle-tattle,” adding that Her Majesty had been very upset by the row over the programme.

A Palace source told the Daily Mail: “There is upset about it. The households are all united in thinking this is not fair. No one at the Palace has seen it.”

  • Royal Family
  • BBC
  • Queen

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