Campaigners have blasted the upcoming BBC documentary about King Charles as dishonest and a significant breach of the BBC's own impartiality rules.

The BBC has admitted that the film, Charles III: The Coronation Year, is an "affectionate portrait" of the head of state. They have said it will be "a warm and sympathetic account of the new reign, with no glimpses of any difficult headlines from the year, whether about Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, a palace race row or protesters arrested at the Coronation."

The film has been written and produced by arch-royalist Robert Hardman.

CEO of Republic, Graham Smith, who was one of those protesters, said today:

"The BBC have handed over the production of this PR film to a staunch monarchist. The result is an entirely flattering, uncritical portrait of the UK's head of state, the sort of film that would make Vladimir Putin blush."

"Charles is a public figure on the public payroll. If a Conservative supporter proposed such a film about Rishi Sunak the BBC wouldn't go anywhere near it, yet with the royals they bend over backwards to be sycophantic and deferential."

"2023 has been transformational for the debate on the monarchy. Polling shows support is down as low as 52%, the republican movement has grown enormously and there continue to be scandals and questions raised surrounding Charles, Andrew and William."

"For the BBC to ignore these issues is simply dishonest and unashamedly biased. Judging from the reports the film also gives a dishonest account of Charles's character and workload. Clearly the intention is to promote and defend the monarchy - not to inform or educate the audience."

"We know the royals insist on contracts being signed that give them editorial influence over programmes they're involved with. The BBC need to answer some serious questions about how this programme came to be made and what influence the royals had over its production."

Details of the film have been reported here: