The 127-page report, released on Thursday, concluded that the journalist “deceived and induced” the late royal’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, into securing the interview for Panorama, The Telegraph reported.
In separate statements, both brothers thanked retired judge Lord John Dyson for leading the investigation into the tactics Martin Bashir used to gain Diana’s confidence, including claims of falsified bank statements shown to her brother, Charles, Earl Spencer, and falsehoods about the royal family.
William insisted the Panorama special should never be aired again, adding: “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.”
Harry added: “Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.”
According to The Telegraph, the BBC’s current director-general Tim Davie said the corporation accepts “in full” the findings of former High Court Judge Lord Dyson.
“Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was keen on the idea of an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the proceeds for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect,” said Davie. “We are very sorry for this. Lord Dyson has identified clear failings.”
“While today’s BBC has significantly better processes and procedures, those that existed at the time should have prevented the interview being secured this way,” he continued. “The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew. While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC offers that today.”
Read their full statements below:
A STATEMENT FROM THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE
“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 fueled paranoia;
- displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the program;
- 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 program 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 commercialized 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.”
STATEMENT FROM THE DUKE OF SUSSEX
“Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.
To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That 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. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.
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.”
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