Harry joins William in criticising BBC over Diana interview

·3-min read
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

Prince William and Prince Harry have criticised the BBC over Martin Bashir's now infamous 1995 Panorama interview with their mother Princess Diana.

An independent inquiry found that the broadcaster covered up 'deceitful behaviour' which led to the Princess of Wales agreeing to take part in the TV interview, including Bashir requesting fake bank documents were mocked up to convince her that those close to her were selling stories to the press.

In an emotional video posted to the Kensington Royal Twitter account, William can be seen saying that the failures of the BBC surrounding the interview with Bashir 'contributed significantly to [Princess Diana's] fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her' .

An investigation into the interview— in which the Princess admitted that there had been 'three people' in her marriage to Prince Charles — found that the BBC 'fell below its standards', with William further outlining the report's findings in his statement.

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

'[The findings] are extremely concerning, that BBC employees lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother. [They] made lurid and false claims about the royal family, which played on her fears and fuelled paranoia,' William can be seen saying.

He added: '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.'

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Prince Harry also responded to the reports findings, releasing a statement in which he says that practices like those used to obtain the interview are the reason his mother 'lost her life'.

He said: '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.'

Speaking to Oprah for the Apple TV series The Me You Can't See (out today), Harry has also described the anxiety and panic attacks he had as a senior royal, and his experience of his mother's funeral.

Photo credit: Princess Diana Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: Princess Diana Archive - Getty Images

He described the five years between the ages of 28 to 32 as 'a nightmare time in my life', in which he had panic attacks and severe anxiety.

'I was just all over the place mentally,' he said.

'Every time I put a suit on and tie on... having to do the role, and go, "right, game face," look in the mirror and say, "let's go". Before I even left the house I was pouring with sweat. I was in fight or flight mode.'

He added: 'I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling.'

He said he would drink a week's worth of alcohol on a Friday or Saturday night, 'not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something'.

The BBC reports 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.

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