Image Source: Getty / Max Mumby
Over 25 years since Princess Diana’s infamous 1995 Panorama interview with the BBC, her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, are speaking out about the “deceitful” tactics that were used to obtain the tell-all. During the interview, Diana was candid about her marriage issues with Prince Charles, what it was like raising her children, and her personal struggle with bulimia. Following an official inquiry led by British Judge John Anthony Dyson into the circumstances leading up to the interview, investigators concluded that BBC reporter Martin Bashir used forged bank documents to secure an interview with Diana.
On Thursday, Harry issued a statement addressing the need for accountability across media as a whole and the long-term effects of the interview on his family and the public. “Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service,” Harry said in a statement. “She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life. To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these — and even worse — are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication. Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”
“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”
In a video on Twitter, William also shared a statement addressing the “deceitful way the interview was obtained” and condemning the media’s treatment of his mother following the interview. “It is welcome that the BBC accepts Lord Dyson’s findings in full — which are extremely concerning — that BBC employees: lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother; made lurid and false claims about the royal family which played on her fears and fueled paranoia; displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the program; and were evasive in their reporting to the media and covered up what they knew from their internal investigation,” he said. “It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”
William continued his statement, saying, “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said. The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others . . . But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. It is my firm view that this Panorama program holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again.” Hear William’s full statement ahead.
A statement on today’s report of The Dyson Investigation pic.twitter.com/uS62CNwiI8
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 20, 2021