Kate Middleton sends invites to ITV Christmas carol concert in BBC snub amid royal doc drama

Fox News Flash top entertainment headlines 11/29

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Looks like the BBC is getting coal this Christmas.

On Tuesday, Kensington Palace confirmed that Kate Middleton will host a holiday carol concert at Westminster Abbey to honor the heroes of the pandemic.

In an apparent snub to the British network, its competitor ITV will host the special Christmas service amid the ongoing controversy over the airing of the documentary “The Princes and the Press.”

While the palace confirmed to Fox News ITV will broadcast the service, a spokesperson didn’t provide further comment in regards to the ongoing drama.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is married to Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne.

Multiple reports alleged that the show was originally planned for the BBC but was switched to the rival network following the airing of the docuseries, which explores the relationship Prince William and Prince Harry have with the media.

While the special is being developed with BBC Studios Events Productions, it will be broadcast on ITV, the U.K.’s Evening Standard reported. Sources at ITV previously alleged that they were made aware of the last-minute offer late last week shortly after “The Princes and the Press” aired.

“It was unusual for it to come to us this late,” one source told the outlet.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sing the national anthem as they attend the Royal Variety Performance at Royal Albert Hall on Nov. 18, 2021, in London, England. 
(Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The concert, which is taking place on Dec. 8, has been set up to “recognize and celebrate the incredible work of individuals and organizations across the nation who have stepped up to support their communities through the pandemic,” the palace shared.

“The service, which will be broadcast in December, will look back on the past eighteen months, to think not only of the unprecedented challenges that we have all faced as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to remember the positives: people and organisations pulling together in their communities, the small acts of kindness across different demographics and generations, and the unsung heroes who stepped up to help others,” the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared on social media.

Last week, the British royal family put on a united front and issued a rare joint statement condemning the BBC for publicizing “overblown and unfounded claims” in “The Princes and The Press,” which aired in the U.K.

The first episode featured journalists and commentators who described how information was obtained, whether by leaks, “dishonest practices” or unofficial briefings between royal sources and reporters. The special also focused on the brothers’ different approaches when it came to handling media scrutiny.

Princes Harry (left) and his older brother Prince William were the subjects of a controversial docuseries that aired on BBC.

The goal of the documentary, according to the network, was to explore whether negative stories about the royals were based on information from people connected to other royal households.

The end of the program featured a statement given to the BBC by Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace concerning the allegations. They represent the households of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and William.

“A free, responsible and open press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy,” the statement read, as quoted by ITV. “However, too often it is overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources that are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.”

In response, the BBC said the program is “about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in California with their two children.
(Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images)

“… The film also showed the extent of the threat to privacy from a press hungry for stories about the younger royals,” they continued. “This included claims by private investigator Gavin Burrows, who said he now regretted his involvement in chasing newspaper stories about Prince Harry and his ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy.”

They noted that Burrow’s claims “are yet to be tested in court and are strongly disputed.”

Reps for the royal households didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

In the program, an attorney for Meghan Markle responded to reports about the Duchess of Sussex’s alleged bullying of palace staff. The 40-year-old’s team has strongly refuted those claims. It is also noted that the U.K. Times report came days before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a televised interview.

In May of this year, William spoke out after it was revealed that Martin Bashir used “deceitful behavior” to secure his interview with his late mother Princess Diana in 1995.

“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her,” the 39-year-old said at the time. “But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived.  She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama. 
(© Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Diana passed away in 1997 in a Paris car crash while she was being pursued by paparazzi. She was 36.

William is second in line to the British throne. He and Middleton, 39, share three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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