The session about reporting on the royal family was another eye-opening and very interesting power point presentation from our newlywed lecturer and was our last teaching session of this semester.
We learnt that the nations relationship with the monarchy has totally changed since the silver jubilee in 1977 and is indeed absolutely unrecognisable from the days of the Queen’s coronation.
However it was mooted that the media seems to want to take the British people back, Canute fashion, to our more royalist past.
We were made aware that at least a quarter of Brit’s believe we would be better off without the royal family, more than 50% want an end to its state funding and 2/3rd want the royal household opened up to more scrutiny.
Apparently media now reports on members of various royal families in much the same way as it reports on celebrities.
It was asked whether journalist’s celebrate or just report on royal events like the jubilee, a royal wedding or a royal birth which threw up some interesting discussion about what would be expected of us in that situation.
It was somewhat expected when we were told that there are strict rules and regulations when it comes to reporting about the royal family and that they have PR Officials who oversee the families media activities and that someone like BBC Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell spends time nurturing professional relationships with press officers.
A royal rota allows a small group of journalists to follow the public engagements of Queen Elizabeth 2nd, the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry ‘Close Up’ reporting for TV, Radio, Print and Online on a pool basis.
Almost all TV footage of the Queen is filmed on behalf of the main UK broadcasters by a palace appointed camera person. You can request interviews but they don’t usually do them they normally do documentaries.
There are two press offices, the one at Buckingham Palace represents the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.
The Clarence House/St. James’ Palace press office represents the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Finally we learnt that if we’re ever researching a royal story we should start with the websites of the royal press offices where most questions will probably be answered.