Prince William slams the BBC in furious statement over 'deceitful' Diana interview
He said that the interview was a "major contribution" to worsening his parent's relationship.
Prince William has launched a sctahing attack on the BBC over its interview of his mother Princess Diana in 1995.
On Thursday, an enquiry found that the BBC fell below its standards in organising the interview and that interviewer Martin Bashir deceived Diana's brother into introducing him to the princess.
The Duke of Cambridge has now come out and, in a rare expression of emotion and anger, revealed his fury at the broadcaster.
He described his "indescribable sadness" at the corporations failings in airing the interview. The duke went on to say that he was in no doubt that the interview and Bashir's deceit in organising it "substantially influenced" what Diana said, and was a "major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse."
Prince William went as far to say that Panorama, the investigative show that aired the interview, "holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again," adding that it "effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others."
He described Bashir as a "rogue reporter" and attacked BBC bosses for the "cover up."
On Thursday, the BBC was judged to have "covered up" what it knew of the reporter's catalogue of deception as well as being "woefully ineffective" in investigating claims against Bashir, after allegations surfaced that he had used fake bank statements to falsely claim Diana’s inner circle were selling information on her to the press.
The future king said that it "brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC's failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation" that he remembers from his final years with her before her death.
Prince William's full statement was as follows:
I would like to thank Lord Dyson and his team for the report.
It is welcome that the BBC accepts Lord Dyson’s findings in full – which are extremely concerning – that BBC employees:
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.
It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said. The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.
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.
But what 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.
It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others.
This settled narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events.
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.