THE BBC has been flooded with hundreds of complaints of “bias in favour of the monarchy” over a documentary about King Charles.

The light-touch broadcast, shown on Boxing Day, was written by royal author Robert Hardman and offered an “affectionate television portrait of the King”, according to an article on the BBC’s own website.

That article went on: “The leisurely 90-minute documentary, Charles III: The Coronation Year, to be screened on BBC One on Boxing Day, shows King Charles as a good-natured figure, immersed in the complex preparations for his crowning.”

The broadcast did not deal with any of the global news stories from 2023 which may have reflected negatively on the royals, including controversies around Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, accusations of racism, and protesters arrests during the coronation on which it focused.

READ MORE: 'The year of Charles' no clothes': A look back on the King's 2023

Graham Smith, from the campaign group Republic, said in December that the BBC had been ignoring key issues to create a “simply dishonest and unashamedly biased” broadcast.

“Clearly the intention is to promote and defend the monarchy – not to inform or educate the audience,” he said.

After the broadcast on December 26, almost 900 people complained to the BBC about the documentary’s bias.

A report published on Thursday showed that 897 separate complaints were made to the BBC about “bias in favour of the monarchy”.

The BBC’s charter states that its mission is “to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain”.

The first of its public purposes is then listed as providing “impartial” news.

READ MORE: Graham Smith: This is what I thought of Charles's BBC 'PR film'

In the past, the corporation has argued that bias in one broadcast can be balanced out by opposing bias in a later one.

Responding to the complaints, the BBC said: "Charles III: The Coronation Year is a one-off observational documentary that 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. It has unique access and captures personal moments as the King adapts to his new role. Editorial control is retained by the BBC.

"The BBC seeks to reflect a range of viewpoints in news and current affairs coverage of the monarchy. Earlier in 2023, when documenting the coronation, Panorama on BBC One examined the structures and finances that surround the royal family and featured a newly commissioned poll about attitudes to the monarchy.  On Radio 4, the Today programme had a debate on whether the UK needs a monarchy and The World This Weekend looked at its future.

"Overall, we have explored a range of perspectives on the monarchy, and will continue to do so."

Among the negative headlines for the royals from 2023, it was reported that Charles had given the green light to the Duchy of Lancaster taking dead people’s estates and using their money to renovate his private holdings.

In the opening days of 2024, his brother Prince Andrew was reported to the police by republican campaigners after court documents linked to the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein were made public.