Prince William and Prince Harry have both released statements after an investigation into a 1995 interview with Princess Diana found interviewer Martin Bashir and the BBC “guilty of deceit.”
The verdict comes after a six month investigation by former High Court judge, Lord Dyson, and a decade-long claim by Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, that the royal had been tricked into taking part in the program through the use of forged documents.
While the BBC has apologised, both Princes say they feel their mother was let down by the media.
“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 fuelled paranoia, displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the programme and were evasive in their reporting to the media and covered up what they knew from their internal investigation.”
The Duke of Cambridge continues, “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.”
View this post on Instagram
He adds that he feels “indescribable sadness” because the BBC’s failures “contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”
“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. 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.”
William describes the interview as a “false narrative” which holds “no legitimacy” and says that in his opinion, “it should never be aired again.”
Prince William ends his statement by pointing out how miserably the media failed everyone:
“These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down, they let the public down too.”
Prince Harry shared similar sentiments in his statement too:
“Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life,” he begins.
“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.”
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, also shared a brief statement on Twitter following the decision:
“I’d like to thank the TV journalist Andy Webb for his tireless professionalism in bringing the Bashir-Panorama-BBC scandal to light. If he hadn’t have pursued this story for well over a decade and shared his fnindgs with me last October, today’s findings wouldn’t have surfaced.”
He also shared this sweet black and white throwback of himself with Diana:
Some bonds go back a very long way. pic.twitter.com/BFpBiScOyT
— Charles Spencer (@cspencer1508) May 20, 2021
(Feature Images Credit: Prince William photo by Mr Pics/Shutterstock; Prince Harry photo by Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock.com