The BBC Is 27 Years Late With Its Apology for That Princess Diana Interview

It's just too little too late.

Princess Diana Red-and-White Hat 1983
Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles are finally getting their apology for the controversial 1995 BBC Princess Diana Panorama interview — only (sarcasm) 27 years later. BBC Director General Tim Davie issued a statement after Harry and William's former nanny, Alexandra Pettifer (aka Miss Tiggy Legge-Bourke), won her defamation case on Thursday, which she filed over claims made that she and Charles had an affair.

"Following publication of the Dyson Report last year we have been working with those who suffered as a result of the deceitful tactics used by the BBC in pursuit of its interview with Diana, Princess of Wales for the Panorama program in 1995, including the matters that were mentioned in court today in respect of Miss Tiggy Legge-Bourke, now Mrs. Alexandra Pettifer," the statement read, per Entertainment Tonight. "The BBC has agreed to pay substantial damages to Mrs. Pettifer and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize publicly to her, to The Prince of Wales [Charles], and to the Dukes of Cambridge [William] and Sussex [Harry], for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives."

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The statement continued, apologizing for a lack of fact-checking (or correcting). "It is a matter of great regret that the BBC did not get to the facts in the immediate aftermath of the programme when there were warning signs that the interview might have been obtained improperly," Davie said. "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. Now, we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained I have decided that the BBC will never show the program again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters."

The video in question was a sit-down between Princess Di and reporter Martin Bashir, in which she spoke about her eating disorder and doomed marriage with Charles. It was later revealed by an independent investigation done by British Supreme Court Judge John Dyson in 2021 that the BBC "fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency." Despite apologizing, the BBC shared that it does plan to keep the program in its records and potentially use it for "journalistic purposes."

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