British royals are forcing news sites to delete embarrassing video clips

Charles gestures to a servant as he proclaims himself king in a ceremony at St James Place in London on September 10, 2022.
gif: BBC

The British royal family has today given broadcasters in the UK a deadline to select just one hour of footage they want to keep for future use of the Queen’s funeral and King’s proclamation ceremony, although millions of people have already seen it all livestreamed on several platforms, according to a new report by the Guardian. And with the UK lacking constitutional protections for free speech equivalent to the First Amendment, broadcasters like the BBC, Sky News and ITV appear to have little choice but to comply.

The UK recently observed a full ten days of official mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8 at the age of 96. But UK broadcasters are being instructed to put together just one hour of their non-stop coverage for future broadcasts and submit that hour to the royal family for approval. Any future use of footage beyond that hour would also need to be cleared with Buckingham Palace.

Where is the online reporting, something that you would assume could live on the internet forever? At least the royal family already had five short clips from the Queen’s memorial and funeral services at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle, which have been deleted from UK media sites, according to the Guardian, although longer streams still exist for those who know where to look. The BBC’s digital video archive, iPlayer, has just weeks before these longer streams are deleted.

News organizations using the broadcast of the official ceremonies had to promise that all social media clips would be “celebratory and dignified”, as the Guardian puts it, although it’s not clear what kind of written agreements could exist with US news outlets . Royal family officials even maintained a WhatsApp group with UK media executives, letting news outlets know in real time which clips the Guardian said were allowed to be re-released during the Queen’s funeral service.

What are the royals trying to hide from the public? Nothing as scandalous as one might expect, it turns out, given the history of people like Prince Andrew, the new king’s brother and a notable partner to a deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Queen Elizabeth II reportedly contributed around $2.7 million to settle a civil sexual assault lawsuit against Andrew time Magazine.

No, the royal family wants to make sure you don’t see things like King Charles III. impatiently getting one of his servants to remove a pen holder from the desk where he proclaimed himself king. In the video, which went viral on social media, Charles looks like a captioned prick, exactly the kind of video the royal family is reluctant to circulate after losing the queen – a woman often with one neighborly grandmother and is a much softer image for a group of people who hoard untold stolen wealth.

Another censored clip is of a man named Mike Tindall, husband of the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, glancing at his watch during a quiet period of reflection, an act which the Guardian said was apparently considered scandalous by some in the UK.

Anyone checking the BBC’s iPlayer website in the UK can probably guess which video streams have been flagged as having allegedly scandalous content. As you can see below, there is a long video stream of the King going on in Northern Ireland 11 months. While one clip of the king in Wales will only be available for the next 20 days.

Image for article titled UK Royals Force News Sites to Delete Embarrassing Video Clips

screenshot: BBC iPlayer / Gizmodo

What happened in Wales that King Charles III. want to keep out of official public memory? To be honest we don’t know. We didn’t follow the hours of footage closely enough. But Charles would to hate for whatever is in it to be archived by an army of netizens.

Thankfully, there are some great ways to archive video from the BBC’s iPlayer, if you know where look on the internet. But people in the UK are unlikely to see any of the official ceremonies not sanctioned by the Royal Family when watching historical footage in the future – a good thing to keep in mind the next time you see people the laughing at the cult of personality that other authoritarian leaders cultivate for themselves, be it former President Donald Trump or North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

The British monarchy has no real power, according to so many monarchists inside and outside Britain. Until they decided what you can watch on TV or even online.

Correction: This article originally stated that Prince Andrew was the son of King Charles III. Actually, Andrew is his brother. Gizmodo, as an American site with a healthy contempt for the monarchy, has only mild regrets for the error.

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