THE BBC said its Boxing Day royal documentary would give "a unique perspective" on the inner workings of the palace in Charles's first year as king.

Yet, as suspected, this wasn't a documentary at all, but a PR film that had no journalistic integrity and little entertainment value.

The film followed the royals and the various sycophants surrounding them during the twelve months from December 2022.

During that time there was a sharp rise in vocal opposition, rows about racism at the palace, the release of Harry's book Spare and his and Meghan's Netflix series. Protests greeted Charles wherever he went.

But you won't see any of that in this film.

READ MORE: King Charles 'directly and privately profiting from deaths in England'

In defending the documentary, the BBC told me the film "covers a period of historical significance when the King took on new duties and prepared for the first Coronation in this country for 70 years".

Yet that doesn't explain why they airbrushed out all inconvenient truths from this PR pitch.

The BBC should aim to inform or educate their audience, yet the aim here was to promote the monarchy.

Even if we agree it was a historic year, why does that mean the film ignores everything going on outside the palace? Why do they not put the coronation and the year into context? How can they possibly justify ignoring the scandals and protests?

The National: King Charles' Coronation

The only answer is that this was a puff piece pitched by the palace - or perhaps the brainchild of a BBC sycophant - in which the palace had an editorial hand.

We know from David Dimbleby, who covered the Queen's funeral, that the royals direct the BBC on what footage can and can't be used. And we know from Omid Scobie's book Endgame that the palace had "clandestine" meetings with BBC executives not long after Charles came to the throne.

We also know from a report in 2015 that the royals insist on contracts being signed that give them editorial influence. Channel 4 News revealed they cancelled an interview with Charles when a contract was sent to them, one that allowed the palace to veto other guests and interviewees.

So it's no surprise that this vapid film simply ignored the procession to the abbey, as it would have been impossible to ignore the protesters.

The National: Not My King signs are abundant outside the Palace of Westminster

It's no surprise they included the occasional commentary from Princess Anne, who at one point suggested the monarchy was a 365-day-a-year occupation, despite all the evidence that the royals do very little.

It's no surprise that commentary on the Commonwealth made no mention of the countries lining up to ditch the crown, or the debates raging about colonial legacies and reparations.

READ MORE: King Charles to face protests on trip to Canada as popularity falls

It's no surprise they wittered on about Charles's environmentalism without a murmur about his hypocrisy. Instead it was one inane comment and tedious tribute after another.

I suspect that the audience fell sharply after the first half an hour, because, aside from all other criticisms, it was just incredibly boring. And that might be because they weren't prepared to show anything remotely insightful. Real insights invite questions, and questions can lead to controversy. The mission here was to sell, sell, sell. Not to inform, educate or generate debate.

During that same year, polls showed a sharp drop in support for the monarchy, down as low as 52% according to one recently carried out by Savanta.

Republic, the leading anti-monarchy campaign, has seen a huge boost to its numbers of activists, members and finances. We’re now one of five campaigns across the UK, including Our Republic in Scotland and Labour for a Republic.

The National: Protesters near Trafalgar Square ahead of the coronation ceremony (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The coronation was marred by the arrests of myself and seven other anti-monarchy protesters, an outrage that was reported for three days right around the world. There were also regular reports about suspected abuse of privilege and accusations of exchanging cash for honours by Charles. Yet none of this gets a mention.

Instead we hear Tony Juniper gushing about Charles's heroism on the environment alongside other daft, hyperbolic tributes.

Quite frankly the BBC and the makers of this programme should be ashamed of themselves. Their film was dishonest, sycophantic and tedious. Shame on them for producing such trash TV that only serves to promote the corrupt and venal royals. Shame on them for doing a disservice to the country and to all its viewers.

And shame on them for bending the knee to the state rather than reporting without fear or favour.