Old mate Prince Charles is apparently demanding some pretty hefty pre-conditions for TV interviews, a little reminiscent of North Korea and George Orwell’s 1984.
His Royal Highness wants advance knowledge of precise questions, the right to oversee editing and even the right to block a broadcast if he does not approve of the final product.
UK’s The Independent has reported the Prince of Wales will only speak to broadcasters on the condition they have signed a whopping 15-page contract, that essentially gives Clarence House the prime position in the editing room for both the “rough cut” and “fine cut” edits of films. Did we mention they can also “remove the contribution in its entirety from the programme”? Hmm…
The exorbitant level of censorship led to the cancellation of an interview with Prince Charles scheduled to be conducted by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News on Sunday.
Channel 4 News was not prepared to conduct the interview under the conditions demanded, writes The Independent, but it is understood that several news broadcasters have agreed to pre-interview contracts with the Prince.
The contract stipulates that an interviewer of Prince Charles “may solely ask questions” previously approved by Clarence House. The questions are written out in full within the contract.
“In the event that the Interviewer or any personnel of [the broadcaster] asks a question which has not been pre-approved, HRH or the member of [Clarence House’s] staff present during the filming of the contribution may intervene and halt filming,” the contract reads.
It also specifies that, during the editing of the filmed interview, “issues concerning matters of fairness, balance, confidentiality or security or concerns about religious, political or racial sensitivities may be raised by the representative of [Clarence House]”.
One source told The Independent the degree of news control was reminiscent of “North Korea” and would never be accepted in respect of other senior figures being interviewed.