Princes William and Harry lobbied for higher standards in the news media following a BBC investigation which found journalist Martin Bashir used “deceptive behavior” to secure a landmark interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
William, Duke of Cambridge, said it brought her “indescribable sadness” to know that the lies presented to her mother contributed to “the fear, paranoia and isolation” that plagued her in the years before her death.
“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 she had been cheated,” he said. he declares.
An independent report released Thursday after a months-long investigation found Bashir acted inappropriately and violated the publicly funded broadcaster’s editorial guidelines in order to gain access to the royal, who had told him in the November interview. 1995 that “there were three of us in this marriage.”
The line referred to her husband, Prince Charles, having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he would marry in 2005, eight years after Diana died in a car crash in August 1997.
William claimed that the lies that were presented to his mother contributed to his statements, resulting in a false narrative, and demanded that the show never be aired again.. The “established narrative” must be included by anyone writing about his mother’s life and legacy in the future, he said.
“In the age of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important,” he said. “These shortcomings, identified by investigative reporters, not only failed my mother and family; they also failed the public.”
Harry, Duke of Sussex, went further and explicitly blamed the media for his mother’s death. Many blamed the paparazzi following her for contributing to the car crash that killed her in Paris.
“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately cost him his life,” he said. “To those who have taken some form of responsibility, thank you for owning it. It is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that such practices – and even worse – are still prevalent today. In the past, and now, it’s bigger than a point of sale, a network or a publication. “
Diana was “resilient, courageous and unquestionably honest,” Harry said.
Last year, the BBC appointed Lord John Anthony Dyson, a former UK Supreme Court justice, to examine allegations that Bashir lied to Diana in order to land his interview, which was watched by over 20 million people in Britain. Charges have surfaced against Bashir after a documentary aired last November on ITV titled “Diana’s Interview: Revenge of a Princess”.
He claimed that Bashir had a graphic designer create fake bank statements, which he then used to convince Diana that royal employees were being paid to spy on her.
Diana’s brother Charles Spencer tweeted on Nov. 8 that he knew Bashir “used fake bank statements and other dishonesty to trick my sister into doing the interview.”
Dyson’s findings confirmed the claim. Bashir said in a statement he apologized “for asking for fake bank statements.” It was “a stupid thing to do and it was an action that I deeply regret,” he said.
Spencer also claimed he found out that the BBC was also aware of the fake bank statements. He asked the network to apologize for the forged documents that led him to introduce Bashir to his sister.
Yuliya talmazan contributed.