The BBC has been accused of operating a deliberate policy of ignoring or underplaying news stories that could embarrass the monarchy, while giving significant coverage to pro-royal "puff pieces". The accusation comes from Republic, which will be protesting outside Broadcasting House this Saturday May 11 from 11.30am, and which has called on the BBC to end its pro-monarchy bias. In the last six months the BBC, which employs a "royal liaison officer" to ensure good relations with Buckingham Palace, has overlooked a number of potentially damaging stories about the monarchy – despite extensive coverage in other national media outlets. These include:

Duchy of Cornwall accused of tax avoidance Covered by: The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail, Financial Times, The Daily Express BBC coverage: none

Royal finances to be investigated by public accounts committee Covered by: The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Sunday Express BBC coverage: none

Prince Charles uses intestate cash to fund own lobby groups and old public school Covered by: The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express BBC coverage: none

A number of other stories - including the public accounts committee's demand for the government to justify Prince Charles's tax exemptions, revelations about the "royal veto" and the Queen's £6m pay rise - received only fleeting coverage, despite being given high prominence by other media outlets. In that time, however, the activities of the royal family - and in particular Prince Charles - have been covered in considerable detail by the BBC. Headlines on the corporation's website over the previous six months include:

Prince Charles visits community shop

Charles and Camilla take Tube ride

Prince Charles: 'I'm feeling very old'

Royal baby prompts green concern for Prince Charles

Prince Charles calls for more compassion in NHS

Prince Charles revives horse logging on Balmoral estate

Prince Charles urges 'harmony with nature'

Prince Charles 'worried' for rural communities

Prince Charles visits Northampton shoe factory

Prince Charles visits Middleport Pottery factory

The BBC has also just announced a "Coronation celebration season" which aims to "bring the nation together this summer by allowing everyone to join in with the Coronation celebrations".


Republic's chief executive Graham Smith said: "When you look at the royal stories that the BBC covers and the ones it ignores, it's difficult not to conclude that the corporation is at pains not to embarrass the royals. It will often send more than one reporter to a staged PR event, yet manages to overlook some really important public interest stories that licence fee payers have a right to know about." "Many of the stories the BBC has covered have all the hallmarks of PR puff pieces orchestrated by the palace press office – which the corporation seems eager to cover without the slightest concern for journalistic integrity." "If the BBC has the time and resources to report that Prince Andrew uses an iPad, then it can report on controversies surrounding the royal finances or Prince Charles's political meddling." "The BBC is supposed to be independent, impartial and honest, but it seems to have been entirely co-opted into the royal PR machine. That's why we'll be protesting at Broadcasting House on Saturday - and why we'll keep putting pressure on the BBC to cover the monarchy objectively."