This month marks the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s sensational Panorama interview that changed how the royals have been viewed forever.
The explosive conversation with BBC journalist Martin Bashir in 1995 rocked the palace and sparked headlines across the globe.
At the time there were questions over how Bashir, then a young, relatively unknown reporter, had managed to land such a prize.
And 25-years on it is still making shockwaves as Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, is on a warpath with the BBC over allegedly forged documents used to convince his sister onto the show.
Last week, the new BBC director general, Tim Davie, apologised to Spencer for the use of fake bank statements that purported to show one of Spencer’s employees was being paid for information, but said it played no part in Diana’s decision to take part.
And nothing will change the impact that Diana’s comments had on her relationship with the Firm.
During the interview Diana damned Charles by questioning his suitability to be king, and famously referred to Camilla Parker Bowles by claiming: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
She admitted her own infidelity with army captain James Hewitt and revealed how she thought she would never be Queen.
The People’s Princess spoke candidly of her postnatal depression and of her bulimia, and admitted she allowed friends to collaborate on a bombshell biography.
BBC apologises to Princess Diana's brother over lie to secure Panorama interview
The Panorama episode, which was hailed as the ‘scoop of the generation’, was watched by 23 million people – and the Palace reportedly knew nothing of it in advance.
In fact, The Queen reportedly put her foot down and ran out of patience with Diana following the show.
It turned out to be the last straw for Queen Elizabeth.
According to one royal author, Penny Junior, Diana had badly harmed the monarchy and her relationship.
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Writing in The Duchess: The Untold Story, she said: “The Queen finally lost patience. This public mud-slinging wasn’t just harming the monarchy, it was damaging for the young princes.”
Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers also reported on a conversation the former director of the National Theatre, Sir Richard Eyre had with the monarch on the subject.
According to TheNews, he said: “The Queen spoke to [Sir Richard] about Diana’s interview, unprompted actually. She said it was a ‘frightful thing to do, a frightful thing that my daughter-in-law did’.”
“We know that this 1995 interview with Martin Bashir rocked the foundations of the Palace. It was all planned and her team didn’t tell the Palace. We’re still talking about it several years later.”
The BBC has apologised to Earl Spencer over the forged documents and said it is unable to discuss other allegations with Bashir, who is seriously ill with coronavirus.
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