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Prince William tells BBC in emotional video: 'You failed my mother'

The BBC and Martin Bashir were investigated into how they secured the interview

prince william video statement
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
20 May 2021
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Prince William and Prince Harry have released powerful statements after Lord Dyson's investigation found that the methods used to obtain Princess Diana's Panorama interview were "deceitful".

In a video statement, Prince William said that the corporation had "failed my mother".

MORE: See inside Princess Diana's childhood home where she met Prince Charles

The BBC and journalist Martin Bashir, who conducted the tell-all interview in 1995 where Diana famously said there were "three of us in this marriage", were investigated into how they managed to secure the time with Diana.

Lord Dyson, the former master of the rolls and head of civil justice, was appointed to look into the circumstances and his inquiry published on Thursday has now concluded that Mr Bashir deployed "deceitful behaviour" to secure the interview, in a "serious breach" of BBC editorial rules.

WATCH: Prince William delivers a powerful statement

In a statement, Prince William thanked Lord Dyson for conducting the investigation and that it was "welcome" that the BBC had accepted the findings in full.

However, the Duke of Cambridge said he found it "extremely concerning" that BBC employees had: "lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother; made lurid and false claims about the Royal Family which played on her fears and fuelled paranoia; displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the programme; and were evasive in their reporting to the media and covered up what they knew from their internal investigation."

He added that it was his view that the "deceitful way" that the interview had been conducted had influenced what Princess Diana had said and ultimately "was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse."

"It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her," he said.

princess diana prince william prince harry skiing© Photo: Getty Images

Princes William and Harry with their mother Princess Diana on a skiing trip

The royal called on the Panorama to never be aired again as it "holds no legitimacy" and that the BBC should have investigated the matter in 1995.

MORE: 9 royal moments that shocked the world

MORE: Kate Middleton and Prince William to pay special visit to the Queen's home

He finished by saying: "In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too."

Prince Harry also released his own statement, and started by paying tribute to his late mother. "Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service," he wrote.

"She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life."

The Duke of Sussex thanked those who had "taken some form of accountability" over the interview, but said he was "deeply" concerned that similar practices were still "widespread today".

"Then, and now, it's bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication," he said.

princess diana panorama

Princess Diana's explosive 1995 Panorama interview

The Prince finished his statement with another tribute to his mother, saying: "Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let's remember who she was and what she stood for."

Earlier on Thursday, Princess Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, also reacted to the outcome of investigation. In a post on Twitter, he said: "I'd like to thank the TV journalist Andy Webb for his tireless professionalism in bringing the Bashir-Panorama-BBC scandal to light. If he hadn't have pursued this story for well over a decade, and shared his findings with me last October, today's findings wouldn't have surfaced."

The investigation was launched last year after Earl Spencer alleged Mr Bashir showed him fake financial documents relating to Diana's former private secretary Patrick Jephson, and another former royal household member, in order to gain access to the Princess.

The investigation was carried out to decide whether the steps taken by the BBC and Mr Bashir were appropriate, and to what extent those actions influenced Diana's decision to give an interview.

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