BBC responds to complaints over Queen’s death coverage ‘monarchy bias’

Katie Archer

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK

Wed, 21 September 2022 at 10:53 am

The State Gun Carriage carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, in the Ceremonial Procession following her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey, London. Picture date: Monday September 19, 2022.
The BBC cleared its schedules to report on the Queen’s funeral. (PA)

The BBC has responded to viewer complaints that its coverage of the Queen’s death was biased in favour of the monarchy.

BBC One interrupted its programming on 8 September to announce that the Queen was under medical supervision and then extended its news coverage until later that evening, when her death was announced.

Schedules for the rest of the day and much of the following day were cancelled to cover the story, with various programmes cancelled or moved during the 10-day period of national mourning and the broadcaster clearing its channels to report on the state funeral on 19 September.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II died on 8 September. (PA)

Many of the BBC’s other channels and radio stations followed suit in clearing schedules and providing extensive coverage.

On the BBC complaints site, it states: “We received complaints from people who felt our coverage of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the accession of King Charles III, has been biased in favour of the monarchy, and should have featured more republican viewpoints.”

The response read: “Our coverage of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has reflected the strength of feeling this has generated from across the country and around the world; we have featured tributes from world leaders, politicians from across the political spectrum and members of the public.

King Charles III, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Sussex (back left) follow the State Gun Carriage carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, as it leaves Westminster Hall for the State Funeral at Westminster Abbey, London. Picture date: Monday September 19, 2022.
The BBC was accused by some of being biased towards the monarchy. (PA)

“It is important that our reporting includes a range of perspectives, so we have also heard from those who do not believe in the institution of monarchy, their reasons for this, and their views on the accession of the King Charles. We have offered detailed analysis on what this transition means for the future of the monarchy.

“We believe our reporting has been fair and duly impartial, reflecting the impact Queen Elizabeth II has had on public life and the historic nature of the end of the reign of the longest serving monarch in British history.”

The BBC faced similar criticism over their coverage of the death of Prince Philip in April 2021.

Changing schedules following the Queen’s death included postponing the Celebrity MasterChef final and moving the Strictly Come Dancing launch date from 17 September to 23 September.

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