The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex have both made statements in light of the report into the Martin Bashir interview with their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Diana gave Martin Bashir an exclusive interview for Panorama in 1995, in which she famously said ‘there were three in this marriage’.
Today’s report confirmed that Bashir had engaged in ‘deceitful behaviour’ by commissioning fake bank statements to land the now-historic interview, which was a ‘serious breach’ of the BBC’s editorial guidelines, former supreme court judge John Dyson concluded.
A statement on today’s report of The Dyson Investigation pic.twitter.com/uS62CNwiI8
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 20, 2021
Prince William gave a recorded video statement from Kensington Palace saying he thanked Lord Dyson and his team for the investigation, whose findings published in a 127-page document were ‘extremely concerning’.
William says the interview ‘was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse’ and that it ‘played on [Diana’s] fears, fuelled paranoia’ by using falsified documents and lying to the Princess.
The ‘deceitful way’ the interview was obtained had substantially influenced what his mother had said, according to William and ‘contributed significantly’ to her state of mind in the final years of her life.
The BBC, which is a public funded organisation, ‘not only let my mother down, my family down; they let the public down,’ the future King added.
“hat 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.
He said the programme should never be aired again. “In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important.”
The Duke of Cambridge also insisted the interview should never be aired again.
The judge also criticised the conduct of Tony Hall, the corporation’s former director-general, who was accused of overseeing a flawed and ‘woefully ineffective’ internal investigation.
Dyson also stated that the BBC ‘covered up in its press logs’ to hide what it knew about the interview and its circumstances. “Without justification, the BBC fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark,” the report said.
His brother, The Duke of Sussex, also released a short written statement.
“Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.
“To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these— and even worse—are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication. Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed.”
It is understood that both William and Harry have received letters of apology from the BBC,