BBC Finally Apologizes For Problematic Interview With Princess Diana

Princess Diana’s life was full of moments that the world still remembers today. One of those moments was her infamous 1995 Panorama interview with the BBC. The interview has been a subject of some controversy for a long time, and the network is finally apologizing to Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry for the tactics they used to get it. 

Journalist Forged Documents To Get Diana To Agree To Interview

The interview was done with journalist Martin Bashir and contained candid remarks about Diana’s struggles with an eating disorder and her unhappy marriage to Charles. The Panorama broadcast instantly blew up around the world, and many wondered why the princess was so open with these details. 

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In an independent investigation conducted last year, it was found that the BBC “fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency” when it came to obtaining the interview with Diana. The report also found that Bashir forged documents, including a fake bank statement, that caused Diana’s brother Charles to agree to arrange a meeting between Bashir and the princess. 

The BBC Apologizes After Losing Defamation Case

A year later, the BBC is finally apologizing for airing the interview: “Following publication of the Dyson Report last year we have been working with those who suffered as a result of the deceitful tactics used by the BBC in pursuit of its interview with Diana, Princess of Wales for the Panorama program in 1995, including the matters that were mentioned in court today in respect of Miss Tiggy Legge-Bourke, now Mrs. Alexandra Pettifer.”

Pettifer recently won a defamation case against the network due to false claims in the 1995 interview that alleged she had an affair with Charles while working as a nanny for the family. 

Network Says ‘Panorama’ Interview ‘Is A Matter Of Great Regret’

“The BBC has agreed to pay substantial damages to Mrs. Pettifer and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize publicly to her, to The Prince of Wales [Charles], and to the Dukes of Cambridge [William] and Sussex [Harry], for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives,” the statement continued. 

“It is a matter of great regret that the BBC did not get to the facts in the immediate aftermath of the programme when there were warning signs that the interview might have been obtained improperly. 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 known the truth during her lifetime. We let her, The Royal Family and our audiences down,” the statement concluded. “Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the program again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.”

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Bashir has since apologized for forging the documents but maintains they “had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview.” While it’s nice that the BBC has apologized for the way the interview was obtained, many think it’s too little, too late. 

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