Princes William, Harry lash out at BBC for Diana interview
Princes William and Harry welcomed the independent inquiry launched by former senior judge Lord Dyson into their mother Princess Diana's infamous BBC interview. The probe details how journalist Martin Bashir deceptively secured the interview, and lied to the managers of the channel at the time. Both the sons lambasted BBC for contributing "significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation," in her last days.
On his part, Prince William said that BBC should be blamed as a whole for this oversight, and not just a "rogue reporter." "The interview was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse," the Duke of Cambridge added. Meanwhile, Prince Harry said, in a separate statement, that the "ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices" led to Diana's death.
A statement on today’s report of The Dyson Investigation pic.twitter.com/uS62CNwiI8— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 20, 2021
Tracing back, in the explosive interview that broadcast in late 1995, Diana went into detail about her bulimia, self-harm, and troubled marriage to Prince Charles. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," she had said, indicating Charles's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Taking action, the Queen had written to the couple asking them to get a divorce.
Bashir, who secured Diana's interview, was a junior reporter at the BBC at that time. The report from the investigation states that he made a fake bank statement with help from a BBC graphic artist, implying a payoff from a media house to an ex-Royal staff. He showed the statement to Diana's brother Earl Spencer, who in turn introduced him to Diana.
The forged bank statements were revealed soon after the interview, but an internal BBC inquiry apparently cleared Bashir and BBC News of any wrongdoing. The latest report also says the BBC covered up facts about how Bashir secured the interview, and called their inquiry inadequate. "BBC fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark," the report stated.
Princess Diana's last few days invited a lot of media scrutiny. In fact, when her car crashed in 1997 at the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris, leading to her death, she was being chased by the paparazzi. Reports suggest that her chauffeur, Henri Paul, hit a pillar while trying to speed away. Later, however, it was found that he was heavily drunk.