Clarence House, which oversees the affairs of Prince William and drew up the broadcast contract with the BBC, issued a statement saying that it was “standard practice for these kinds of religious ceremonies to include a clause which restricts usage in drama, comedy, satirical, or similar entertainment programs.”
Organizations championing freedom of expression have questioned whether the royals should have the right to impose such restrictions, especially given that the taxpayer will pick up most of the costs involved in organizing the event.
Padraig Reidy, news editor at Britain's Index on Censorship, describes the royal family’s control of the coverage as “bizarre.” He adds that plans for preemptive arrests and restrictions on the right to protest were even more concerning, branding as “unprecedented” the police’s intended approach.
“The level of stage management with such an event might not be surprising, but certainly the police promise to use the Public Order Act on the day to deal with anyone who even slightly tries to interfere with the spectacle is rather worrying in our view,” he says.
Republican groups are incensed over suggestions by Metropolitan Police Commander Christine Jones that antiroyal placards in the vicinity of the ceremony would be removed on the day. Graham Smith, spokesman for Republic, a group that advocates a "democratic alternative to the monarchy," says, “Republicans have every right to make their voice heard on the day of the royal wedding, and the police have a fundamental duty to protect that right. The idea that political dissent should be silenced in order to protect the image of the royals goes against every democratic principle.”