Prince William chose to ignore a reporter who asked him whether he’d seen Martin Bashir’s apology while on tour in Scotland with wife Kate Middleton.
The 38-year-old royal was leaving the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh when he chose not to respond to the question about the BBC journalist who famously interviewed his mother, Princess Diana, in 1995.
A recent investigation into the conduct of the BBC found the broadcaster guilty of covering up Bashir’s “deceitful behaviour”, which included tricking Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, into getting an introduction to the princess and procuring false documents, to land the scoop of the century.
The report said the BBC’s attempt in 1996 at an internal investigation after concerns were raised was “woefully ineffective”.
Bashir (58), who is now retired from journalism, issued a public apology to William and his brother, Prince Harry, saying he was “deeply sorry” but that the interview didn’t cause her harm.
“I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don't believe we did. Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents.
“My family and I loved her.”
The interview, in which Diana famously admitted there were “three of us” in her marriage to Prince Charles (a reference to Camilla Parker-Bowles), led to the queen ordering her and Charles to divorce in 1996. A year later she was killed in a car accident in Paris while being chased by paparazzi.
In a rare move, William, who was seen chatting with the elderly and cutting wood on what was his first solo Scottish engagement, responded to the results of the inquiry with a scathing statement, in which he blamed the interview for his parents’ divorce.
“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others,” he said.
“What saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.
“It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again,” he concluded.
“In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”
Sources: cnet.com, dailymail.co.uk