The creators of a new documentary about Princess Diana defended their decision to use a clip from the late royal’s controversial Panorama interview — after Prince William said he thought it should never be seen again.
“This feature documentary tells the story of Princess Diana exclusively through archive footage from the time, without commentary from today,” a spokesperson for The Princess, which recently debuted on HBO, told People in a statement on Monday, August 15. “This interview is shown briefly, in context, as a moment of historical record.”
The clip in question comes from a famous interview that Diana gave to the BBC’s Panorama in 1995. The sit-down was later discredited after journalist Martin Bashir was accused of using unethical tactics to obtain an audience with the Princess of Wales.
During the bombshell interview, the late royal discussed her battle with bulimia as well as the dissolution of her marriage to Prince Charles and his alleged affair with now-wife Camilla Parker Bowles, saying: “There were three of us in this marriage.”
Earlier this year, BBC director general Tim Davie apologized to Charles, 73, William, 40, and Prince Harry for the interview.
“It is a matter of great regret that the BBC did not get to the facts in the immediate aftermath of the program when there were warning signs that the interview might have been obtained improperly,” Davie said in a statement in July. “Instead, as The Duke of Cambridge himself put it, the BBC failed to ask the tough questions. Had we done our job properly Princess Diana would have known the truth during her lifetime. We let her, The Royal Family and our audiences down.”
The media exec claimed in his statement that the BBC would “never show the program again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.” One week later, however, reports surfaced that the creators of The Princess planned to use footage from the interview in their documentary.
Last year, William slammed the BBC for the interview, saying that he thinks footage from the Panorama episode should never see the light of day again.
“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” the Duke of Cambridge said in a statement in May 2021, after a BBC report concluded that the interview was obtained using deception. “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others. It is my firm view that this Panorama programme 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 commercialised by the BBC and others.”
Harry, 37, claimed at the time that the Panorama incident contributed to his mother’s death at age 36 in a 1997 car crash. “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life,” the Invictus Games founder said in a statement in May 2021. “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.”
Diana and Charles, who had separated in 1992 after 10 years of marriage, finalized their divorce in 1996. The Prince of Wales wed Camilla, 75, in 2005.