BBC coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday is “out of touch with reality,” according to anti-monarchy group Republic, which accuses the broadcaster of ignoring corruption in its gushing celebration of the royal family.
The publicly-funded broadcaster is under fire for failing to meet its own objectivity standards, which require “fair, balanced and proportionate” coverage.
Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy, accuse the BBC of ignoring the “corruption and abuse of position” by the royals.
Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 on Wednesday.
Her birthday comes at a time of reappraisal of the monarchy in Britain and abroad, with Prince Charles in particular coming under scrutiny for his secret letters to government ministers.
Republic argues the BBC should reflect this evaluation, by probing more into royal family’s role and affairs.
Instead, the broadcaster celebrates the monarchy and “marginalizes” critical voices.
“The Queen’s birthday does not warrant this kind of coverage, it is inappropriate to celebrate a political figure like this and the public just aren’t that excited about the royals,” Republic CEO Graham Smith said.
“The BBC has a duty to report, not to celebrate the royals. That reporting must be fair, balanced and proportionate. So far this week the BBC has failed completely on those measures.”
Smith added there are “serious questions to be asked about the corruption and abuse of position of the royal family.”
Last year, Prince Charles’ infamous ‘black spider’ letters to government ministers were published after a decade of establishment resistance at the public expense of £400,000 (US$576,000) in legal fees.
The publication revealed Charles intervened in government affairs on everything from herbal medicine and wildlife to British soldiers in Iraq.
Labour MP Paul Flynn called Charles “the lobbyist supreme in the land” at the time, observing the Prince’s views were given a “seriousness and priority they did not deserve.”
Republic also points out the Queen and Prince Charles can veto bills which impact their interests before they are submitted to Parliament through a process known as “Queen’s consent” or “Prince’s consent.”
While the Queen remains popular in the UK, historian Dr. Anna Whitelock predicts the British monarchy will be in its dying days transfer.
“I mean if you think about it, what are we waiting for? Are we waiting for her to die? I would have thought that it’s much more respectful to have her supervise this transition,” he told the ABC.