Poke fun at William and Kate's royal wedding? The censors say no.
In the land of the Magna Carta – as well as tart satire – footage of the royal wedding of William and Kate is banned from being used in any comedy program, as the Australian TV show 'The Chaser' just learned.
(Page 2 of 2)
In a recent interview with the BBC, Commander Jones said, “There are 364 other days of the year when people can come to London and demonstrate and frankly it’s not appropriate on the day of the royal wedding for people to come to London with that intent.”Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Attack on freedom of speech?
Smith thinks those remarks are outrageous. “What Commander Jones appears to be saying is that the she has been co-opted into the royal family’s PR campaign. By doing so she’s not only compromising the neutrality of her officers, but also making a disgraceful attack on freedom of speech. We’re seeking urgent clarification so that republicans are reassured that their rights won’t be trampled on,” he said.
The hostility toward some of the constraints imposed as a result of the wedding is bound to reignite condemnation of the royal family’s privileged position. The monarchy has often been criticized for the special treatment it receives, particularly with regard to the law. Correspondence between members of the royal family and government departments are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, for example.
“The whole system is designed so that the royals are not above the law but slightly outside of it,” said Index on Censorship’s Mr. Reidy. “We know Prince Charles very regularly speaks his mind and writes to government on various matters such as healthcare and public architecture. If someone is trying to influence government policy in any way, then it does seem rather unfair that they should be exempt from freedom of information.”
MPs may not make critical remarks about the monarcy
The special treatment extends even to Parliament. Under House of Commons rules, MPs are banned from making critical remarks about the royals. In March, Labour MP Paul Flynn was prevented from speaking about the behavior of Prince Andrew, whose role as a UK trade envoy has recently come under scrutiny.
“It’s quite outrageous that as elected parliamentarians, we aren’t allowed to criticize,” said Mr. Flynn. “It’s crazy that we have our mouths bandaged about matters of important public interest, in this case how we’re represented abroad.”
Describing the treatment the royal family received as “very privileged,” he added, “The Queen is shielded from all criticism and her family are protected in the same way. It’s a piece of the privileged litter from the past and has no place in a modern parliament.”
View The Royal Wedding Parade Route in a larger map