Princess Diana told BBC's Martin Bashir during the Panorama interview that she had an eating disorder and revealed many other sensational details.
The year was 1995 and in the month of November, Princess Diana gave an explosive interview to BBC's Martin Bashir that sent shockwaves across the royal family and the world. Diana told Bashir that there were "three of us in the marriage," referencing Prince Charles' alleged paramour Camilla Parker Bowles, and it was "a bit crowded." She also talked about her eating disorder and why she never felt accepted in the royal family. An interview so revealing from her end was unprecedented and people in her family wondered why she took the step. A possible reason has finally been presented.
It turns out that the Princess of Wales may have been coerced into giving the interview. Her brother, Earl Spencer, has accused Bashir of showing "false bank statements" that were used to help the reporter gain an introduction to the princess. He used the fake bank statements to show Spencer that members of his family's staff were taking payment for leaking information on Diana to the secret services.
In a previous internal inquiry, Bashir was cleared of wrongdoing by Tony Hall, who became BBC director-general later. The inquiry concluded that Bashir was an honest individual who "wasn’t thinking" when he asked for the bank statements to be faked. However, the BBC will hold a new inquiry but Spencer is not happy with BBC's efforts, as per the Guardian. He has already asked the BBC to ensure that people are charged for the criminal offense.
"As I’ve told the BBC this evening, I’m not at all satisfied with the parameters they’ve set around their inquiry into the BBC Panorama interview with Diana of 25 years ago tonight. Lord Dyson must be free to examine every aspect of this matter, from 1995 to today, as he sees fit," he tweeted, as per Guardian. Dyson is the Supreme Court judge appointed to head the investigation.
While Spencer is spearheading this truth-telling campaign, it seems that Diana's two sons are also abreast of the inquiry and supporting their mother, who passed away in 1997, two years after the interview.
Prince William said that the independent investigation was a "step in the right direction," as per Marie Claire. "It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time," the Duke of Cambridge said in a statement. He was 13 when the interview was aired and he reportedly cried while watching it, reports Mirror UK. Royal historian and biographer Robert Lacey said that William actually "wept" after "something inside him snapped."
Prince Harry has also welcomed the inquiry as a "drive for truth." According to the Guardian, a source was quoted as saying, "Harry is getting regular updates and is aware of everything that is happening. You do not need a public statement to imagine how he is feeling privately, people know how much his mother means to him. He has bravely spoken out in the past about loss and grief, and the immense impact it has had on him. Sadly, some people are not just seeing this as a drive for truth, but also trying to use this as an opportunity to try to drive a wedge between the brothers."
Even though he has been accused of being silent about the inquiry, Harry is reportedly in close touch with his uncle Spencer, who is accusing the BBC of "sheer dishonesty." He accused Bashir of telling many lies, including saying that Prince Charles was having an affair with their nanny, to acquire the interview with Diana. Her friend, Rosa Monckton, was quoted by Daily Mail slamming the BBC for "making a lot of money" from a "criminal offense." Monckton praised William for standing up for his mother, who was "coerced" into giving the Panorama interview.
Diana had reportedly become "jumpy" and "edgy" after Bashir told her lies about the secret services. The Princess of Wales thought that she was being followed. "For (William) and for Kensington Palace to issue a statement, I think shows how deeply involved he has become in this story and about how his mother was treated. It's very important that we look at it 25 years on. It did change the course of history. I know people are saying she would have done an interview anyway, but she hadn't and she didn't and... she always said no," said Monckton.