BBC failures contributed to my mother’s ‘fear and paranoia’ says Prince William


Prince William has issued a statement following a report’s findings into Martin Bashir’s explosive 1995 Panorama interview with his mother, Princess Diana.

After an inquiry found the BBC had fallen short of the “high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark,” Prince William said he was “most saddened” his mother never learned she had been deceived. The prince said his mother was failed “not just by a rogue reporter” but also by bosses at the BBC.

William’s rebuke of the broadcaster comes after a report published on Thursday said the inquiry found BBC journalist Martin Bashir used deceit to gain a sensational 1995 interview with Diana, and that the broadcaster covered up the deception.

During the Panorama interview, watched by more than 20 million viewers, Diana shocked the nation by admitting to an affair and sharing details of her marriage to Prince Charles.

The Duke of Cambridge said:

“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; and

– 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.”

Watch Prince William’s full statement here.


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