London, May 20 (EFE).- Prince William, the second in line for the British crown, on Thursday accused the British Broadcasting Corporation of having “contributed significantly to (his mother, Princess Diana’s) fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”
In a statement read by him and released on the social media, the older son of Prince Charles and Lady Diana also said that the interview that the BBC conducted with his mother and aired on Nov. 20, 1995 “was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.”
At the time of the interview, Charles and Diana were separated but not divorced. Their divorce was finalized on Aug. 28, 1996.
William said that “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.”
According to an independent report that was released earlier on Thursday, BBC News – commenting on the work done starting in November 2020 by Lord John Dyson and his team regarding the interview – revealed the “‘deceitful’ methods” used by reporter Martin Bashir to land the interview, adding that his actions “fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are (BBC’s) hallmark” adding that it had made “clear failings” and saying that “We are very sorry for this.”
The document details the conclusions made after an exhaustive independent investigation by Dyson, a former judge, to clarify how Bashir got the explosive Panorama interview, questioning the methods he used to interview the Princess of Wales, the former Diana Spencer, who had married Prince Charles in July 1981.
Among other things, Bashir was accused of having resorted to irregular practices, such as using false documentation, to secure the interview.
“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,” William said in his statement.
The Duke of Cambridge also said that BBC employees “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 went on to say that Princess Diana “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.”
Meanwhile, Prince Harry – William’s younger brother – released his own written statement on the social networks in which he said that the “culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took (Princess Diana’s) life.”
“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,” said the Duke of Sussex, who now lives in the United States with his own family after leaving the UK to, among other things, get away from press harassment.
Harry said that Dyson’s report “is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse – are still widespread today” and go beyond one news “outlet, one network, or one publication.”
Princess Diana died on Aug. 31, 1997, in a car crash in Paris while her driver was trying to flee paparazzi.