Comparing the Russian and American royal coverage of the last few days, you'd never guess which nation was on the UK's side. Whereas Vladimir Putin has praised the late Queen and Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda called her "the last living titan of the twentieth century," some of the transatlantic broadcasters appeared to greet the death of the sovereign as little more than an invitation for some good old-fashioned Brit-bashing.

Take MSNBC. On Saturday, TV host Ali Velshi began a special on the Queen's legacy by condemning the British royal family. He claimed that she "represented an institution that had...

Comparing the Russian and American royal coverage of the last few days, you’d never guess which nation was on the UK’s side. Whereas Vladimir Putin has praised the late Queen and Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda called her “the last living titan of the twentieth century,” some of the transatlantic broadcasters appeared to greet the death of the sovereign as little more than an invitation for some good old-fashioned Brit-bashing.

Take MSNBC. On Saturday, TV host Ali Velshi began a special on the Queen’s legacy by condemning the British royal family. He claimed that she “represented an institution that had a long and ugly history of brutal colonialism, violence, theft and slavery,” even though, on Elizabeth’s watch, Britain decolonized its empire and embraced multiculturalism. As a constitutional monarch, she played no role in political duties though her embrace of a multi-racial Commonwealth, distaste for apartheid South Africa and service in the fight against Nazi Germany indicate her private sympathies.

Velshi though preferred to disregard the views and actions of the sovereign who died just two days earlier. He told his audience that:

For many centuries, the British robbed other nations of their wealth and power, and exploited their people. Even as Queen Elizabeth’s reign largely marked the beginning of the post colonial era, the horrors that her long line of ancestors inflicted upon many generations of people across the globe continues to be the source of pain.

Fortunately, actual historian (and proud Brit) Andrew Roberts was on hand to correct the record. Despite Velshi’s repeated indignant interruptions, Roberts cooly asked:

If we had given so much pain to people throughout history, why was Prince Charles chosen by every single Commonwealth country — many of which are former imperial countries?

As for slavery, Roberts pointed out that the UK abolished it more than thirty years before the United States. Would that, he asked, make Joe Biden a symbol of slavery too?

As Roberts began his retort, Velshi seemed to become more agitated, telling him: “Andrew this is not a propaganda show,” and “Andrew I need you to stop! I need you to stop for a second.”

“Are you really taking issue with the horrors of colonialism?” he asks, to which Roberts replied: “I’m taking issue with your remarks about slavery, which we abolished thirty-two years before you did.”

“We didn’t have to kill 600,000 people in a civil war over it,” he added. Ouch.

Sadly though, such distortions were not confined to just MSNBC. CNN also tried to get in the act with Christiane ‌Amanpour demanding King Charles III address Black Lives Matter and consider possible “reparations” for wealth generated from former colonies. Does he at least get to bury his mother first?

Amanpour’s colleague Max Foster bowed his head like a nodding dog as she declared that “Prince William who’s the heir and the next king, he talked about it, having been criticized for a trip he made in the Caribbean — again, colonial legacy — that we must have this discussion, and it must be up to those countries. But it also has to be had in this country [Britain] as well.”

Thanks for the advice, Christiane. Cockburn might have some sympathy with Amanpour talking about the evils of the British empire were she not quite literally a CBE — a Commander of the British Empire — an honor she seemed to have no problem accepting fifteen years ago. Talk about being a right royal hypocrite.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.