Just hours before ITV aired their primetime documentary Harry and William: What Went Wrong? in the U.K. on Sunday, July 4, the network cut out claims from the program alleging that Prince William and his staff planted stories about Prince Harry's mental health, according to a new report.
Kensington Palace allegedly reached out to the network in relation to a "number" of details, with the Palace reportedly warning producers that a potentially defamatory claim was made.
The claim in question was made by Omid Scobie, Harry and Meghan Markle's biographer, who suggested palace sources briefed the press on William's apparent "concern" over his brother's mental health following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex' 2019 interview with journalist Tom Bradby.
During the interview, 36-year-old Harry publicly spoke about the brothers' rift for the first time. Shortly after, royal insiders bashed Bradby's line of questioning because they felt it was inappropriate, adding that William was apparently in pain and concerned to see Harry so upset.
In the show, Scobie (author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family) said: “I would say that it was no coincidence that it was shortly after that aired, even the next day, there were source quotes that came from a senior aide at Kensington Palace saying that William was worried about his brother’s mental health," per Daily Beast.
Kensington Palace insisted Scobie had no evidence to support his suggestion of William's thoughts on Harry's "mental health" (even though the 39-year-old royal may have had concerns for his brother's overall happiness), according to Daily Mail, noting it would be defamatory if the claim about his mental wellbeing made it to air.
In light of the Palace's apparent warning and ITV '"carefully considering" their request, the network chose to remove any reference to mental health in the documentary.
In the final cut of the program, Scobie's quote was altered and the words "about his brother’s mental health" were taken out.
Harry's interview with Bradby was shown in the original 2019 ITV documentary — which was filmed in Africa during the couple's last official tour with the Royal family. During their candid talk, Harry told the journalist that he and the Duke of Cambridge don't see each other as much as they used to, but they "will always be brothers" even though they're "certainly on different paths."
Meanwhile, Meghan — who welcomed the couple's second child together, daughter Lilibet Diana, last month — insisted the royal household failed to support her, a claim she later doubled down on when talking to Oprah Winfrey in March.
At the time of the couple's sit down with the talk show titan, OK! reported that Meghan opened up about her “very clear and very scary” suicidal thoughts while being a working member of the royal family. According to Meghan, 39, she asked The Firm for help with her mental health struggles but they refused, as it would be a bad look for the royal family.