BBC journalist sorry for calling royal family racist, illiterate, fools

Dec 03, 2021
BBC journalist and vocal Republican Amol Rajan said the royal family was "full of fools." Source: Getty

Journalist and commentator Amol Rajan, the presenter of the BBC’s controversial new television documentary The Princes and the Press, which covers Prince William and Harry’s relationship with the media, has apologised for the “tasteless” comments he made about the monarchy in The Independent newspaper nearly 10 years ago. 

Shortly after the second airing of the BBC two-part docu-series, The Independent republished comments Rajan had made about the royals in 2012. Rajan had called the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s role a “total fraud,” said Prince Charles was “scientifically illiterate”, and accused Prince Philip of being a “racist buffoon”, before going on to say the whole concept of a hereditary monarchy was “absurd.”

An open letter written by Rajan in 2012 has also resurfaced. The letter, directed to Prince William and Catherine back when the two were expecting the first child, said, “Neither of you have a special claim on the glorious city of Cambridge, so quit pretending you do.” 

His letter challenged the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to swap their “vast palace” for a “decent suburban townhouse” and to send Prince George to a “normal school.”

Rajan accused Prince William and Catherine of being “total frauds”. Source: Getty

Rajan also critiqued Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, which took place in the same year, as a “celebration of mediocrity”. Adding that “aside from the Queen – whose public image is crafted by an ever-expanding team of propagandists – this clan is unusually full of fools”.

This week, Rajan took to Twitter to express that he “deeply regrets” his “foolish” commentary and the “rude and immature” statements he made nearly 10 years ago. “I would like to say sorry for any offence they caused then or now. I’m completely committed to impartiality and hope our [the BBC’s] recent programs can be judged on their merits,” he wrote. 

 

Rajan, a Republican who is known for being vocal about his anti-monarchy ideals, said his views would not influence the documentary. In a statement given to the UK’s The Telegraph, the BBC said, “Once journalists join the BBC, they leave past views at the door.” Defending Rajan, they went on to say his reporting is “in line with the BBC’s editorial guidelines”. 

However, the royal household has criticised the BBC docu-series for presenting “overblown and unfounded claims” as fact. Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, told The Telegraph, “Unfortunately reporting at the BBC seems to have fallen by the wayside – now it’s all about opinion. Has Amol Rajan changed his opinion since The Indie [Independent]?”

What do you think of Amol Rajan's past comments?

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