Princes William and Harry condemned the BBC and media culture after an independent investigation concluded Thursday that former BBC journalist Martin Bashir had used “deceptive” means to secure his explosive 1995 interview with their late mother, Princess Diana.
The same investigation also found that the BBC “failed to meet its high standards of integrity and transparency” by covering up deceptive practices, which involved falsifying documents suggesting that collaborators close to her were speaking to the press.
In a video posted to social media, Prince William (aka the Duke of Cambridge) said the BBC played on his mother’s fears “and fed [her] paranoia “in their efforts to secure the interview, in which Diana ultimately denounced the royal family.
“I think the deceptive manner in which the interview was obtained significantly influenced what my mother said,” William said. “The interview was a major contribution to the worsening of my parents’ relationship and has since hurt countless other people.”
The prince said he felt “indescribable sadness” to know that “the failures of the BBC have contributed significantly to his fear, paranoia and isolation”.
William said he believed the interview contained a “false story” and should not be rebroadcast.
In a separate statement, Prince Harry condemned what he called a “culture of exploitation and unethical practices” in the media which led to the death of his mother – who he said is still prevalent.
“Our mother was an incredible woman who devoted her life to service. She was resilient, courageous and unquestionably honest,” Harry said in a statement Thursday in response to the findings of the investigation. “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately cost him his life.
“To those who have taken some form of responsibility, thank you for assuming it. It is the first step towards justice and truth,” he continued.
“Yet what deeply worries me is that such practices – and even worse – are still prevalent today. Back then, and now, it’s bigger than a point of sale, a network or publication.
“Our mother lost her life because of it, and nothing has changed,” Harry said. “By protecting her heritage, we are protecting everyone and respecting the dignity with which she lived her life. Let us remember who she was and what she stood for.”
In his own explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, Harry said he feared the media was responsible for the death of his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan Markle), after she became suicidal while pregnant with their son Archie. due to the intense and, they said, unfair media coverage from the UK tabloids.
“My biggest concern was for history to repeat itself,” he said. “I’ve said it many times before, very publicly. And what I saw was history repeating itself, but more, maybe, or certainly a lot more dangerous, because then you add the breed. and you add social media. And when I talk about repeating history, I’m talking about my mom. “
The BBC reported on Thursday that its chief executive, Tim Davie, had sent personal letters of apology to Harry, William, Prince Charles and Earl Spencer for the deception that took place behind the scenes of the interview.
According to the new investigation, the findings of which were released Thursday, Bashir ‘tricked’ Earl Spencer with false information into an introduction to his royal sister, which he then used to get her to agree to an interview.
Then, when this information first came to light, the BBC “covered up investigations into how [Bashir] got the interview and the correctness of the methods he used.