Prince William spoke out against the BBC this week for “contributing significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation felt by [his] late mother, Princess Diana,” in the years before her death. The Duke Of Cambridge’s comments come after the BBC issued a statement in which they apologized for the controversial 1995 interview between BBC journalist Martin Bashir and Diana.
During the interview Diana detailed the breakdown of her relationship with Diana, and after an inquiry into the network was performed, it was found that the BBC had turned to “deceitful methods” to secure the interview in the first place.
A video of William condemning the BBC was uploaded to the official Twitter page of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“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. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions. It is my firm view that this Panorama program holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialized by the BBC and others,” William explained.
William’s brother, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, issued his own statement that was just as passionate as Williams, explaining how “the ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took ]Princess Diana’] 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,” he said.
“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.”
BBC Director-General Tim Davie claimed that “the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect. While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology, and that’s what we’re offering today.
The investigation’s report was initially commissioned by the BBC and written by retired high court judge Lord Dyson. The investigation found that “Bashir had shown fake bank statements to Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, which deceived and induced him to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana. By gaining access to Princess Diana in this way, Mr Bashir was able to persuade her to agree to give the interview. This behavior was in breach of BBC guidelines.”
BBC initially launched an internal inquiry back in 1996, however, while it was concluded that the documents were forged, it also was revealed that they had nothing to do with Diana’s decision to take part in the interview. It concludes that “without justification the BBC covered up… facts as it had been able to establish about how Mr Bashir secured the interview. The BBC also failed to mention the issue at all on any news programme and thereby fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.