The Duke of Cambridge has welcomed an investigation into the BBC’s 1995 Panorama interview with his mother Princess Diana, saying it “should help establish the truth behind the actions” that led to the programme.
William said the independent probe into Martin Bashir’s controversial television interview with the Princess of Wales in 1995 was a “step in the right direction”.
The interview saw the then-separated Diana publicly confirm she knew her husband had resumed his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles and admit to having developed an eating disorder. It prompted the Queen to urge the couple to seek a divorce a month later.
It was a landmark piece of journalism that won Bashir a Bafta award and propelled him to prominence, enabling him to secure a similar scoop with global superstar Michael Jackson. But Bashir himself is now to be the subject of an investigation into the steps he took to land the scoop.
The BBC has appointed Lord Dyson, who formerly presided over the Court of Appeal, to lead the investigation. It will begin straightaway and seek to discover what steps Bashir and the broadcaster took to land the interview.
Second in line to the throne William said: “The independent investigation is a step in the right direction.
“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.”
False bank statements
The probe comes after allegations by Diana’s brother Earl Spencer that he was shown “false bank statements” by Bashir and that these statements were used to help the reporter gain access to the princess.
Charles Spencer provided introductions between Diana and Bashir, which resulted in the infamous interview – which sent shockwaves through the monarchy with details about the state of her marriage to the Prince of Wales.
Spencer claims that, in the weeks before the programme, Bashir showed him bank statements detailing payments supposedly made...