Prince William ‘led calls to muzzle Diana posthumously’ when he denounced an explosive 1995 interview she gave to the BBC, said biographer Andrew Morton, whose 1992 book Diana: her true story revealed Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, for the first time.
Princess Diana told the BBC Panorama, “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” in her most famous media appearance at the height of the disintegration of her relationship with Charles.
However, Prince William has since requested that the show never air again after controversy surrounding how journalist Martin Bashir got the scoop. And it looks like he may get his wish, at least in part, after the BBC pledged not to show it in its entirety or license it to other broadcasters.
However, Morton recently said The daily beast the 1995 interview was a historical artifact and should be part of the public record.
“It is a supreme irony that it was her son who led the calls to muzzle Diana posthumously, to silence her, to prevent her from being heard, from saying what she has spent her life trying to articulate,” Morton said.
William says Diana’s interview ‘has no legitimacy’
Diana’s 1995 Panorama The interview was mired in controversy after it emerged Bashir had used fake financial documents as part of a campaign to get the scoop of the decade.
According to an internal investigation carried out on behalf of the BBC by Lord John Dyson.
The Duke of Cambridge responded to the report’s publication in 2021 by calling Diana’s interview a “false narrative” that should never be aired again.
In a rare moving statement, he said: “I think the misleading manner in which the interview was obtained significantly influenced what my mother said. The interview was a major contributor to the worsening of the relationship of my parents and has since hurt countless others.
“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the failures of the BBC contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those last few years with her.”
“I strongly believe that this Panorama program has no legitimacy and should never be broadcast again,” William added. “He effectively established a false narrative which for over a quarter of a century has been marketed by the BBC and others. This established narrative must now be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intention to write about these events.
BBC Director General Tim Davie appeared to largely comply with William’s request when he confirmed in July 2022 that the BBC would no longer license footage to other broadcasters and would only show clips in limited circumstances.
“Now that we know the shocking way in which the interview was obtained, I have decided that the BBC will never carry the show again, nor will we license it in whole or in part to other broadcasters. “Davie said in a statement. “This of course remains part of the historical archive and there may be occasions in the future where it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes.
“But these will be rare and will need to be agreed at executive committee level and placed in the full context of what we now know about how the interview was obtained.”
What Diana said was ‘not an aberration’
However, Morton pointed to the fact that at least some of what Diana described to Bashir had already been included in the secret tapes she made for him for his 1992 book.
The Princess smuggled a taped confession to the author through an intermediary containing a devastating account of Charles’ affair, his experiences with bulimia and several suicide attempts during his time in the royal family.
This testimony came three years before Bashir’s interview, and a transcript of these tapes appeared in later editions of Morton’s book published after Diana’s death.
Prince William has never said which aspects of Diana’s interview he believes represent a “false narrative”, making it difficult to determine the extent to which Morton’s recordings challenge his view.
morton said The daily beast: “This [Panorama] is an important and historic interview that should be part of the public record. No accurate story or documentary about Diana can be made without reference to this interview.
“What she said was no aberration; indeed much of the ground she covered had been revealed in my book, Diana, her true story. For the BBC, locking it in a safe is a mistake.”
“The methods Martin Bashir used to get Diana to sit down and talk to him were underhanded and deceptive,” Morton continued, “but the truth is that once the cameras rolled, he didn’t twist her neck. arms to say anything, and many of the things she said, such as talking about her bulimia, her suicide attempts, her husband’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and the fact that she didn’t consider him fit to be king, were not aberrations.
“She was well known for saying these things to those around her, to the extent that they had become something of a schtick.”
Princess Diana’s “paranoia”
Prince William didn’t say what he was specifically referring to when he used the term ‘paranoia’, but Bashir’s false account erroneously suggested that Charles also had an affair with his children’s nanny, so known as Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
The nanny, now Tiggy Pettifer, has been awarded damages by the BBC for Bashir’s false account that she had an abortion after Prince Charles impregnated her.
Lord Dyson’s 2021 report said: “I am satisfied that at the time of the meeting [with Bashir]Princess Diana had paranoid fears about various things, including that she was being spied on and in mortal danger.
“Mr. Bashir was aware of some of these fears, but the Princess had expressed a number of fears for her physical safety prior to her death, the report added. “Mr. Bashir would have little trouble playing on his fears and paranoia.”
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