The bombshell 1995 BBC interview with Princess Diana where the royal revealed several intimate details about her personal life and relationship with Prince Charles is in news again.
The interview, which caused a sensation when it was aired, was conducted by BBC's Martin Bashir. The news organisation is in crisis after news investigations revealed that Bashir had used unfair means to get Diana to appear for the interview. BBC is now reportedly reopening an investigation into the incident now, 25 years after it first aired.
What is the 1995 Diana interview?
The explosive interview came months after Prince Charles's own admission that his marriage to Princess Diana was in shambles. In the historic Panorama broadcast, Princess Diana for the first time spoke about the breakdown of her marriage. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Diana had said in the interview, referring to the affair with his former mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles whom he ended up marrying in 2005 after Diana's death. In the interview, she also revealed that she had been unfaithful to Charles as well. The interview, which was watched by 22.8 million viewers around the globe, is said to have changed the course of royal history and been the final nail in the coffin of the royal marriage, making way for the first divorce in the royal family the next year in August 1996.
Why is the 1995 Diana interview in news again?
With the BBC getting a new director-general Tim Davie, the publicly funded British broadcaster has reopened an investigation into the interview, which many claim the BBC landed through improper means. The inquiry was ordered just days after the later princess's brother Earl Spencer wrote a letter to Davie, asking the BBC to look further into the matter. Davie offered a partial apology but Spencer has insisted on a full inquiry.
Why is the interview being investigated?
It is said that Bashir had at the time exploited Princess Diana's insecurities and paranoia about being bugged by the secret services. The journalist who headed the flagship BBC show Panorama, allegedly used forged papers to prove to Diana palace staff were working against her and were being paid to spy on her. The letters are said to have won Diana over who later agreed to appear in an interview with the journalist. Diana is later said to have regretted having given the interview as it caused her to get estranged from her eldest son William.
How did Martin Bashir land the Diana interview?
According to Diana's brother Spencer, Bashir made a series of allegations to himself and his sister such as that Diana was being bugged by the security services and that two senior aides were being paid to provide information about her. He says Bashir provided fake bank statements to back up the claim. Others involved in making the program have also come forward to say the BBC had covered up wrongdoing.
How did the royals react?
The 1995 interview has rocked the royals like no other scandal and was definitely one of the biggest "scoops" of the 20th century. The Crown staff, however, had been instructed to support the princess, no matter what. Prince William has reacted favourably to news of the BBC inquiry into the circumstances of the interview, claiming an "independent investigation is a step in the right direction".
(With inputs from Reuters)