Prince Harry’s full statement on BBC’s Martin Bashir and Princess Diana interview

·2-min read
Prince Harry has said a “culture of exploitation and unethical practices” ultimately took his mother’s life  (Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via Reuters)
Prince Harry has said a “culture of exploitation and unethical practices” ultimately took his mother’s life (Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via Reuters)

The Duke of Sussex has said a “culture of exploitation and unethical practices” ultimately took his mother’s life after an inquiry found the BBC covered up “deceitful behaviour” used to secure her 1995 Panorama interview.

It comes after a Lord Dyson inquiry concluded journalist Martin Bashir was in “serious breach” of the broadcaster’s producer guidelines when he faked bank statements and showed them to Diana’s brother Earl Spencer to gain access to the Princess of Wales.

Prince Harry said he was “deeply concerned” that such practices were “still widespread today”.

In his full statement about Diana’s interview, the duke said: “Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest.

“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.

“To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it.

“That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these - and even worse - are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.

“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life.

“Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”

Diana, Princess of Wales, pictured with a young Prince HarryMartin Keene/PA
Diana, Princess of Wales, pictured with a young Prince HarryMartin Keene/PA

The BBC has written to the royal family to apologise for the circumstances surrounding the interview, in which Diana said: "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded", a reference to Camilla Parker Bowles - who Charles later married.

The findings of the 127-page report have prompted developments, with Scotland Yard, which previously said it would not launch a criminal investigation into Bashir's actions, now saying it will “assess” the document to “to ensure there is no significant new evidence”.

Justice secretary Robert Buckland said ministers would be looking into whether there were BBC governance issues outside of the remit of Lord Dyson's reports that needed reviewing.

Away from the Panorama scandal, Harry has admitted in his new documentary series with Oprah Winfrey, the trauma of his mother's death led him to use alcohol and drugs to "mask" his emotions and to "feel less like I was feeling".

Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed died when their car crashed in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris on 31 August 1997 as they were being pursued by the paparazzi.

At the time of her death the princess had been divorced for a year after the final stages of her marriage break-up had become public.

Additional reporting by PA

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