On November 20, 1995, Princess Diana shook the British royal family with the so-called “Panorama” interview. For 60 minutes she talks about the darkest hours of her life: the marriage problems with Prince Charles, his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles and her bulimia. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the TV broadcast, GALA summarizes the exciting facts about the interview. Part 3.
What are the consequences of the “Panorama” interview for Diana?
Princess Diana pays a heavy price for her frank words. On December 20, 1995, the Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth had asked Diana and Charles to divorce three years after their separation. According to contemporary witnesses, Diana did not want to take this step. But it is too late and too much has happened. The separation becomes final on August 28, 1996. Diana loses her title of “Royal Highness” in the course of this. The loss of this privilege is said to hurt them very much. Because she is inextricably linked to the monarchy through Prince William, the palace continues to regard her as a member of the royal family.
What will happen to the BBC and Martin Bashir?
The close connection between the BBC and the Royals is broken overnight. The palace no longer grants the broadcaster exclusive access until further notice. Among other things, the BBC will not be allowed to produce the Queen’s Christmas address in the coming years.
Bashir comes under fire after the interview. The allegation: He allegedly presented two falsified bank statements to Charles Spencer. The supposed recipient: Alan Waller, Spencer’s ex-chief security officer. With this trick, Bashir Spencer wanted to pretend that Waller was selling information about the royal family to the media. The journalist is also said to have alleged that he had information that Diana’s private apartment in Kensington Palace was bugged. Diana is said to have confirmed her paranoia and agreed to the interview.
After an internal investigation in 1996, the BBC concluded that the bank statements did not help convince Diana of the conversation. Diana confirms this in writing, according to the BBC. Shortly before the 25th anniversary of the “Panorama” interview in 2020, the discussion about Bashir comes up again – with the result that the BBC wants to conduct a new investigation. Prince William welcomed this in an official statement as “a step in the right direction”.
Does Diana regret her words?
Diana insider Richard Kay reveals that the 34-year-old was “nervous” and “concerned” in the documentary “Diana: An Interview That Shocked the World” (2020). However, Bashir had emphatically assured her that she had done the right thing and that the show would have the effect she wanted.
On the evening of November 20, 1995 Diana does not see the “Panorama” episode advertised in the media in advance live. She is at a gala dinner in central London and sits at a table with fashion journalist Suzy Menkes. “Aren’t you afraid of what you did today?” Menkes asks the princess. Her answer: “If you are telling the truth in life, you should never be afraid.” Diana was stubborn, but not stupid, explains Richard Kay in an October 2020 article for “Daily Mail”. In a private moment, she confessed to him that she regretted passages in the interview. This includes questioning Prince Charles’ suitability as king and confirming the affair with James Hewitt.
Diana stands by other revelations. In the TV documentary, Royal author Ingrid Seeward reveals that she was “happy” to have spoken of her bulimia because she received a flood of messages and letters from other people affected.
Are there any secrets Diana took to the grave?
60 minutes of the interview will be broadcast. According to the BBC, there is conversation that fell victim to the cut. The big question: what can be heard on them? This is still a secret today. Rumors say that these include statements about Queen Mum. Some of Diana’s friends tell Richard Kay that Diana herself kept a master tape and hid it in a hat box in her dressing room – in case she needed some leverage against the palace in the future …
What remains of the “Panorama” interview?
It’s been 25 years since Princess Diana spoke to Martin Bashir – and it’s still being talked about. Diana, companions and royal authors say, wanted to tell her version of the story. She succeeded in doing this.
In part one, read about the legendary “Panorama” interview, why Diana even kept the conversation a secret from her own family and in part two, how Prince William reacted to his mother’s revelations.
Sources used:bbc.com, mailonline.com, express.co.uk, telegraph.co.uk, people.com, theindependent.co.uk