PRINCE William tonight hit out at the BBC over the Martin Bashir interview saying its failures helped spark his mum's paranoia.
The Duke of Cambridge told of his “indescribable sadness” that Princess Diana had been deceived back in 1995 and never knew.
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Welcoming Lord Dyson’s report into how she was duped into giving the interview, he said: “The findings are extremely concerning.
He added: "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 comes as…
- Prince William savaged the BBC for letting his mother and family down
- Prince Harry slammed the 'culture of exploitation' that took his mother's life
- Royal insiders blasted the Crown for pushing a false narrative that Diana was "unstable"
- William's full statement can be read in full here
- Martin Bashir was blamed for Princess Diana's death by her brother Earl Spencer
- William and Harry put aside their differences to prove their mother's letters were real
- Martin Bashir disguised himself as a tradesman to interview Princess Diana at Kensington Palace, Panorama reveals
"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."
He added the interview was also a big let down to the British public.
"This settled narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events," he said.
"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."
William – 13 at the time of the broadcast – spoke candidly after the publication of Lord Dyson’s damning report into Bashir and the BBC’s cover-up of his behaviour.
Bashir forged bank statements, told Diana she was being spied on and that Prince Charles was having an affair with Harry and William’s nanny.
After finally agreeing to speak with Bashir, Diana sensationally admitted: “There were three of us in the marriage.”
What Prince William said of Lord Dyson’s findings
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.
The revelation caused shockwaves across the world and led to the princess being “cast adrift” and left to fend for herself outside the royal circle.
Two years later she was killed in a Paris drink-drive car crash.
In emotional revelations from royal sources, the Duke of Cambridge is said to harbour “sad memories” from the time of the bombshell interview in 1995 watched by 23million Brits.
And in a nod to the grave effect it had on his vulnerable mother, insiders said: “William remembers the majorly overwhelming sense of fear, isolation and paranoia Diana suffered in the final years of her life after that interview. “The BBC majorly contributed to that.”
They added: “Diana was led astray to make statements and say things that otherwise were not true and it formed a narrative around her that she was unstable and a schemer.
“This narrative has been there for 25 years – and it is still inaccurately told today in TV shows such as The Crown.But the narrative is false.”
Diana’s family fear the interview led to acrimony in her divorce with Charles – and even harmed his reputation in the eyes of the public with false claims of an affair with their nanny.
“It damaged Charles too,” insiders claimed.
And it is understood the Duke does not buy into the claim that Bashir was a “rogue reporter” – instead blasting the BBC for trying to lay blame solely on their reporter.
A source said: “Clearly there were senior figures and leaders at the BBC who knew what was going on, and to dismiss what happened as an isolated incident is not accurate.”
Diana’s former private secretary Patrick Jephson described Martin Bashir’s lies as “wicked”.
Speaking on last night’s Panorama documentary, Patrick blasted the BBC’s disgraced former reporter.
He said: “What makes it more wicked is the degree of detail which Martin Bashir appears to have gone into.
“From Martin Bashir’s perspective I was the obstacle that had to be removed. By removing me from a position of trust it left the way open for him to give her any yarn he wanted to try and ingratiate himself with her.
“Inevitably it made her vulnerable to people who were unable properly to look after her.”
Patrick told Panorama that Diana was “cast adrift” from her “royal support structure that had guided and safeguarded her for so many years” because of the claims.
He said: “One of the worst consequences of the interview is that it destroyed remaining links with Buckingham Palace.
“The loss of the royal support structure that had guided and safeguarded her for so many years inevitably made her vulnerable to people who didn’t have her be inter at heart or were unable to look after her.”
He added that the late royal was left in a “heightened state of anxiety” by the claims.
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