BBC responds to complaints about ‘excessive’ coverage of Kate’s cancer diagnosis

The BBC has said it received complaints from people who believed its coverage of the Princess of Wales’ cancer diagnosis was “excessive and insensitive”.

Kate revealed she was undergoing treatment for cancer in an emotional video message released on March 22, in which she told others battling the disease “you are not alone”.

The broadcaster had aired the full video and said it was “mindful” of its reporting approach, and did not speculate on details that had not been made public.

Mid-Term Review
BBC Broadcasting House (Lucy North/PA)

In a statement responding to the complaints, the corporation said: “We broadcast in full the highly personal video message from the Princess of Wales, in which she spoke directly to the public about her cancer diagnosis.

“Our coverage reflected the significance of this story and the outpouring of support for the princess from around the globe.

“We explained to our audience what was known about Catherine’s condition, but did not speculate on details that had not been made public.”

The corporation detailed its reporting approach and said it always gives “careful consideration” to the editorial decisions made.

“Our reporting made clear that this is a difficult time for the princess and the rest of the Royal Family; we have been mindful at all times to approach our coverage with sensitivity,” the BBC said.

“As part of our analysis, we examined the intense speculation there had been in the preceding weeks about the princess’s health.

“We also reported on Catherine’s request for privacy and detailed the statement from Kensington Palace regarding the princess having the right to privacy in relation to her medical issues.

“We always give careful consideration to the editorial decisions we make.

“While we have a responsibility to report on stories that are of interest to our audience, we appreciate that not everyone would have approved of the approach we took.”

Royals attends Christmas Day Church service
The Princess of Wales revealed her cancer diagnosis in March (Joe Giddens/PA)

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said Kate and the Prince of Wales were “both enormously touched” by the public response to news of Kate’s diagnosis.

“The prince and princess are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness’ message”, the statement said.

“They are extremely moved by the public’s warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time.”

Kate, William and their children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – were absent from the royal family’s traditional Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel over the weekend, which was attended by King Charles and the Queen who were applauded by crowds after attending the mass.