The BBC formally apologized to Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry for Princess Diana’s infamous interview with journalist Martin Bashir nearly three decades ago.
BBC director-general Tim Davie released the statement via the channel’s website on Thursday, more than a year after an independent inquiry looked into Bashir’s tactics to secure Princess Diana’s 1995 “Panorama” interview.
“It is very unfortunate that the BBC did not get to the facts immediately after the broadcast when there were warning signs that the interview might not have been properly received. Instead, as the Duke of Cambridge himself put it, the BBC failed to ask the tough questions. Had we done our job properly, Princess Diana would have learned the truth while she was alive. We failed them, the royal family and our audience,” Davie said in a statement. “Now we know of the shocking way the interview was received. I have decided that the BBC will never end the programme will show again, nor will we license it in whole or in part to other broadcasters.”
The apology came shortly after Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who was Prince William and Prince Harry’s nanny throughout their childhood, won a defamation case against the network in London’s High Court on Thursday.
The 57-year-old former royal caretaker sued the BBC over claims in the 1995 interview that she was having an affair with Prince Charles and received a “substantial” sum from the network.
“I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to her, the Prince of Wales and the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex for the manner in which Princess Diana was deceived and the resulting impact on their lives.” , continued Davie .
The interview with Princess Diana “will remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future where it will be justified for the BBC to use short excerpts for journalistic purposes,” added the BBC boss. “But these will be rare and need to be agreed at Executive Committee level and placed in the full context of what we now know of the way the interview was obtained. I urge others to exercise similar restraint.”
In her 1995 interview, Princess Diana opened up about her battle with bulimia and shared details about her strained marriage to Prince Charles. The former couple separated in 1992 and finalized their divorce in 1996, a year before the Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris.
In November 2020, the BBC announced that it had asked former UK Supreme Court Justice John Dyson, Lord Dyson, to launch an independent investigation into the 1995 interview.
The investigation later revealed that Bashir had acted in a “fraudulent” manner and fabricated documents, including bank statements, to obtain the Princess Diana interview. Bashir showed the fake recordings to Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, so that he could introduce the journalist and persuade her to agree to the interview.
The BBC “has failed to achieve the high standards of integrity and transparency that are its hallmark,” according to the inquiry.
Both Prince Harry and Prince William received letters of apology from the BBC 25 years later for Bashir’s behavior and subsequent cover-up.
In response to the findings of the inquiry, the Duke of Sussex said in a statement that he felt his mother was being exploited.
The Duke of Cambridge issued his own statement saying he felt Princess Diana was let down by “a rogue reporter” and the BBC’s leaders and asked that the interview never be broadcast again.
“I firmly believe that this Panorama program has no legitimacy and should never be broadcast again. It has effectively established a false narrative that has been commercialized by the BBC and others for over a quarter century,” said the future king.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/princes-william-harry-charles-receive-formal-apology-over-princess-diana-interview-1834028?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Princes William, Harry and Charles receive a formal apology for interviewing Princess Diana