Prince William ‘still furious’ with BBC over Bashir scandal – ‘Anger was palpable’

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The Duke of Cambridge is still angry at how Mr Bashir tricked the late Princess of Wales into sitting down for an interview in 1995, according to a source. However, the insider added, Prince William is enough media savvy not to hold the current BBC to account for mistakes made more than two decades ago.

The source, described as a friend, told the Daily Mail: “His anger was palpable, but he went away and did his research and placed the issues in their true historical context.

“While he is still furious about the way in which his mother was duped, he is not going to hold our national broadcaster to account for something that happened a quarter of a century ago.”

Princess Diana spoke to Mr Bashir during a special Panorama programme in November 1995, three years after separating from Prince Charles.

During the bombshell interview, the Princess of Wales famously said there were three people in her marriage, hinting at the Prince of Wales’s extramarital relationship with then Camilla Parker Bowles.

Charles and Diana finalised their divorce in August 1996, only a few months after the interview was aired.

In a blistering statement read by Prince William in May last year after the publication of the results of the Lord Dyson independent inquiry into how Mr Bashir obtained his interview with Princess Diana, the Duke said the interview made a “major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse”.

Branding Mr Bashir a “rogue reporter”, the Duke also said: “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.”

The Dyson inquiry found that Mr Bashir breached BBC rules by mocking up fake bank statements.

With these faked documents falsely suggesting individuals were being paid to keep the Princess of Wales under surveillance, the report stated the journalist deceived Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, into being introduced to his sister.

Mr Bashir said creating false documents was “a stupid thing to do” and regretted it, but had no bearing on Diana’s decision to be interviewed.

A note written by Diana and included in the Lord Dyson report stated she had no regrets about the broadcast and she had not been shown any faked documents.

Nevertheless, Lord Dyson said the BBC, during its internal probe in 1996, should have considered the possibility that the documents were shown to her brother.

Prince William said that, in his view, the deceitful way the interview was obtained “substantially influenced what my mother said” in response to Mr Bashir.

The future King also stated the interview had “no legitimacy” and should never be aired again.

Following the inquiry, the BBC reportedly wrote apologies to the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge, Prince Charles and Earl Spencer.

A few months after the publication of the Lord Dyson report, Prince William was reportedly left upset by another BBC programme – a two-part documentary titled The Princes and the Press.

The documentary looked into the relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William with the media and how they have been covered between 2012 to 2021.

The programme featured allegations surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure from the Firm and Britain.

The three royal households, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House issued a rare joint statement in response to the programme.

It read: “A free, responsible and open Press is of vital importance to a healthy democracy.

“However, too often overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.”

The BBC said the programme was “about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists from broadcast and the newspaper industry”.

Shortly after the broadcast of the first part of this programme, it was claimed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had chosen to have the special carol service at Westminster Abbey led by Kate aired by ITV rather than the BBC.

Earlier this month, the BBC was granted the privilege to co-host and broadcast the spectacular Party at the Palace, as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

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