The royal family is no stranger to the media or to drama. Still, after new information was revealed about Princess Diana, it seems as though brothers William and Harry are showing a united front. It turns out that former BBC Reporter Martin Bashir took “deceitful” actions in order to secure his shocking interview with Princess Diana in 1995.
According to the investigation, BBC “fell short of its high standards of integrity and transparency.” They did so by covering up shady practices like forging documents that suggested airs close to her were in cahoots with the press. While the BB apologized for these actions, they can’t take back part of the story that contributed to Princess Di’s downfall and, ultimately, her passing. In Season 5 of “The Crown,” the eighth episode in the season recreated the interview, as it was a central moment for both Diana and the rest of the royal family.
With this info coming to light, Prince William and Harry have put aside their issues to connect and speak out against BBC and media culture as a whole. After all, the paparazzi and constant media harassment was the reason for Diana’s poor mental health and untimely death. While it makes sense that Harry would want to protect his wife based on the media damaging both her and his late mother, and in a show of resounding support, it’s good to know that his brother William has his back. The two released separate statements commenting that this infamous interview did irreparable damage to their family.
William’s statement was critical regarding how Bashir and the BBC used fake documents to secure the interview, calling it “concerning” and saying that the media outlet played in her her paranoia and fears, which ended up being very valid. In addition, William believed that this deceitful method of obtaining information influenced what Diana said during the interview.
He explained that the damage done contributes to hurting his parents’ relationship and hurting many others. Ultimately, William just felt a deep sadness to know that the BBC contributed towards her issues and that leaders should have a responsibility to ask the tough questions rather than looking the other way.
In Harry’s statement, he commented that the “ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.” Since extracting himself from the royal family, Harry has been speaking out more and more about the unethical nature of many media outlets and how as a society, we’ve normalized this atrocious behavior. In the statement, he also wanted to thank those who had taken accountability in the situation, saying it was a move towards justice and truth. However, he also expressed concern that these practices are still condoned and widespread today, saying that after the death of his mother, nothing changed.
The brothers weren’t the only ones to make a statement. BBC Director-General Tim Davie said, “Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never show the programme again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters. It does of course remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes, but these will be few and far between… I would urge others to exercise similar restraint.”
Still, even though Bashir personally apologized to the family, he was quoted saying that he didn’t believe he harmed Diana, which rubbed many people the wrong way.
It’s about time that we shift from being a celebrity-obsessed culture to one that allows people some modicum of privacy. Everyone has a right to focus on their mental health without being hounded 24/7 by the paps. We hope the brothers can continue to put aside their differences and act as a united front.
“Harry & Meghan” actually includes controversial footage of the interview, which is one of the most discussed royal moments even three decades later in 2023. Although William said the clip should never be aired again, clips were used to discuss the press’s negative impact on the royal family and to illustrate the points Harry was making about his mom.