royal family

William and Harry Condemn ‘Deceitful’ Diana Interview

Photo: Mathieu Polak/Sygma via Getty Images

Prince William and Prince Harry have responded to the recent report on their mother’s 1995 interview with the BBC, which concluded “deceitful” tactics were used in order to secure the now-famous tell-all with Princess Diana. The blockbuster interview came amid her unraveling marriage to Prince Charles during a time in which Diana said Buckingham Palace saw her as a “threat of some kind.” One of the most memorable moments came when Diana addressed Prince Charles’s affair with his now-wife Camilla Parker Bowles, saying, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

The investigation, conducted by Lord Dyson, a former justice on the British Supreme Court, found that journalist Martin Bashir paid a graphic designer to create fake bank statements and checks that made it look like members of the royal family were being paid to spy on Diana. Per the report, these falsified statements “deceived and induced” Diana’s brother Earl Spencer into arranging the interview with the princess. The BBC has since issued a “full and unconditional apology,” saying the 1995 interview “fell far short” of journalistic standards and noting that the report has revealed “clear failings” on their behalf. “The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew,” the statement read.

Both Prince William and Prince Harry have responded to the report, strongly condemning the deceptive and harmful practices. “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” Prince William said in a video statement posted to Twitter hours after the report came out. “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’d been deceived,” he added, saying 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.” Prince William also noted that the interview “effectively established a false narrative, which for over a quarter of a century has been commercialized by the BBC and others,” and added that it “was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.”

Prince Harry also issued a statement after the report, saying, “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.” While the Duke of Sussex thanked the people “who have taken some form of accountability” for the interview and its subsequent effects, he also noted that similar practices are still pervasive today in media coverage of the royal family, especially in coverage of his wife and son. “Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed,” Harry said. “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.”

William and Harry Condemn ‘Deceitful’ Diana Interview