Following a monthslong investigation, the BBC has concluded that journalist Martin Bashir used “deceitful” tactics to procure his infamous 1995 interview with Princess Diana. In an article published on its website, the broadcaster stated that the interview, which had Diana candidly recall her negative experiences with the royal family and open up about Prince Charles’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, “fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect.” (This is the interview where Diana shared one of her many bombshell quotes: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”) The BBC also offered a “full and unconditional apology” for airing and publicizing the interview, which occurred on its Panorama program. In a statement to the BBC, Bashir said he was still “immensely proud” of how he handled Diana’s story.
The investigation confirmed that Bashir had “mocked up” fake bank documents as a way to deceive Diana and her brother, Charles Spencer, by convincing them that a member of Diana’s royal staff was leaking information about her private life to the media. These documents served as the catalyst for Diana to do the Panorama interview, which the BBC described as “gaining access.” However, the BBC noted that a letter Diana wrote in 1995 said she had “no regrets” about doing the interview, and Bashir did not “give me any information that I was not previously aware of.” Pick your side and guess which Crown episode this debacle will appear in.
Update, 5:45 p.m.: While Diana may have stated that she had no regrets about the interview, her two sons think otherwise. In separate statements, Prince William and Prince Harry strongly criticized the findings of the BBC’s investigation, as well as reiterated their belief that the interview was obtained by unscrupulous means. William had previously voiced support in November 2020 for the investigation to be opened. “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” he said in a new statement, per People. “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.” Added Harry, in another statement, “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.”