Prince William reveals the BBC's 'lies' in Princess Diana interview worsened his parents' relationship

Prince William condemned the BBC for worsening his parents' relationship with infamous Diana interview

NORFOLK, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 05: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn as part of the NHS birthday celebrations on July 5, 2020 in Norfolk, England. Sunday marks the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the National Health Service (NHS). The UK has hailed its NHS for the work they have done during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Joe Giddens - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Joe Giddens - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William has condemned the BBC for Martin Bashir's interview with Princess Diana in 1995, revealing that its "lies" and "woeful incompetence" worsened the relationship of his parents. 

  • Princess William has criticized the BBC for its "lurid and false claims" in response to the findings that Martin Bashir forged documents to convince Princess Diana to agree to the infamous 1995 Panorama interview. 
  • The Duke of Cambridge revealed that the interview had severely damaged his mother's wellbeing, by fuelling her paranoia and making her relationship with Prince Charles worse. 
  • In other royal news, this is how the Royal Family snubbed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their anniversary.

The Duke of Cambridge addressed the revelations that the Panorama interview was obtained under false pretenses last night, blaming the BBC for fueling his mother's "fears and paranoia" in the final years of her life. 

A 2021 independent inquiry into the program found that Martin Bashir had behaved in a "deceitful way" and used "fake documents" to coerce Princess Diana to agree to an interview. The investigation revealed that the BBC journalist had shown forged bank statements to Earl Spencer which indicated payments had been made to keep his sister under surveillance. 

The inquiry, which was conducted by retired judge Lord Dyson, also denounced a 1996 probe by the BBC into the interview as "woefully ineffective."

The news comes just days after the BBC delayed a documentary on Martin Bashir's interview with Princess Diana due to 'a significant duty of care' issue. The new broadcast date of the program, which was originally scheduled to air on May 17,  has yet to be confirmed. 

Prince William, who welcomed the news of Lord Dyson's investigation last November, has now released a statement in response to its findings. Speaking from Kensington Palace, the duke criticized the BBC for causing irrevocable damage to his late mother. 

After thanking Lord Dyson for the investigation, he addressed its judgment that the BBC "lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother." 

As well as making "lurid and false claims about the Royal Family which played on her fears and fueled paranoia," the UK broadcaster also "displayed woeful incompetence" in its 1996 investigation into the complaints about the program. 

Prince William went on to blast the BBC for its "evasive" reporting to the media and cover-up of the investigation. He then revealed that he believes that Princess Diana's statements to Bashir during the Panorama special were "substantially influenced" by the "deceitful way the interview was obtained." 

Perhaps most notably, he attributed the poor handling of the interview to the breakdown of his parents' relationship. Princess Diana famously divulged to Bashir that Prince Charles was unfaithful, revealing, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." The couple divorced the following year, after fifteen years of marriage. 

Princess Diana

Prince William has condemned the BBC for Martin Bashir's interview with Princess Diana in 1995, revealing its "lies" and "woeful incompetence" worsened the relationship of his parents.

(Image credit: Tim Graham / Contributor/ Getty Images)

"The interview was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse and has since hurt countless others," Prince William said. 

The Duke also expressed his "indescribable sadness" that Princess Diana had died without knowing the truth behind the interview.

"She was failed not just by a rogue reporter but by leaders of the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions," he said. 

Prince William then dismissed the "legitimacy" of the interview, urging for it to "never be aired again." Not only had the BBC's misconduct failed Princess Diana and the Royal Family, but it also had "let the public down." 

"In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important," he said. 

Bashir, who resigned from the BBC after 35 years last week, has since apologized for faking the bank statements, calling it "an action I deeply regret" and "a stupid thing to do." 

However, he also rejected the accusations that it had influenced Diana's decision to speak to him, insisting the documents had "no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.