Prince William and Prince Harry have released separate emotional statements, following an inquiry into the BBC's Panorama interview with their mother Princess Diana in 1995.
An investigation into Diana's famous interview found that the BBC "fell below its standards", with William further outlining the report's findings in his statement.
Prince William shared his thoughts in an emotional video posted to the Kensington Royal Twitter account, as well as releasing a written document, while Prince Harry shared a written statement.
William has said that "the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her [Princess Diana's] fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her." Meanwhile, Prince Harry said, "The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life."
The BBC report that it has written to apologise to Princes William and Harry, as well as the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and Diana's brother Earl Spencer.
Prince William's full statement reads:
"I would like to thank Lord Dyson and his team for the report.
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.
- Were evasive in their reporting to the media and covered up what they knew from their internal investigation.
"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.
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.
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.
"It is my firm view that this Panorama programme 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 commercialised by the BBC and others.
This settled narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events.
In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too."
Meanwhile, Prince Harry also released a statement which reads:
"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.
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."
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