The interview had the effect of a bomb in 1995. Aired on the program “Panorama” on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and watched by nearly 23 million Britons, she had then seen Princess Diana affirm that there was ” three people “ in her marriage – in reference to the relationship her husband Prince Charles had with Camilla Parker Bowles – and admitted to having an affair herself. Two years later, Lady Di was killed in a car accident in Paris.
But how this interview was obtained is shrouded in mystery. Diana’s brother Charles Spencer accuses journalist Martin Bashir of forging documents to obtain her. He claims Mr Bashir showed him account statements – which turned out to be false – proving that the security services were paying two people in court to spy on his sister. “If I hadn’t seen these statements, I would never have introduced Bashir to my sister”, he wrote in a letter to the BBC, asking for an apology for these methods “Dishonest”.
The BBC announced on Wednesday (November 18th) that its board of directors had appointed a former Supreme Court justice, John Dyson, to lead the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the interview. The investigation will look into the conduct of Mr. Bashir, little known at the time but propelled by this scoop towards an international career, and will examine “The supposed statements of accounts” Mr. Spencer is talking about. She will also be closely interested in what the BBC knew and whether the institution had knowingly protected its journalist.
“A step in the right direction”, for Prince William
“This independent investigation is a step in the right direction”, greeted Prince William, second in the order of succession to the British throne, Wednesday evening. “This should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the ‘Panorama’ interview and the decisions made by those who were at the BBC at the time”, he added.
Lady Di and Prince Charles had separated in 1992, before divorcing in 1996. Prince Charles, heir to the Crown, then married Camilla, in a discreet civil ceremony, in 2005.