Princess Diana granted several interviews in her lifetime, but the most controversial remains her infamous interview with Martin Bashir. She dropped several bombshells during the interview, including her husband’s extra-marital affair.
The world remembers Princess Diana as the “people’s princess” due to her willingness to relate with the people and foster acts of philanthropy. But within the royal family, she was deemed somewhat unstable and a rebel.
Notwithstanding, she still managed to force herself to adapt to the royal life, with her dedication to the people serving as a form of escape from her otherwise turbulent life.
Welcoming two royal babies, including a future king, did little to make her life in the royal family easier. The attention from the paparazzi always trailing her further worsened the princess’ plight.
Eventually, her marriage fell apart thanks to the intervention of “the other woman,” Camilla Parker-Bowles. One year later, the legendary people’s princess met her end in a car crash while trying to evade paparazzi, and thus, the legend of Diana, the Princess of Wales came to be.
While the highlights of this story make up Princess Diana’s biography, she gave a more detailed insight into her life and the breakdown of her relationship with Prince Charles during her revealing interview with BBC’s Martin Bashir in 1995.
Here is a breakdown of the historic interview that took the world by surprise, leaving the British royal family abashed.
SHE DESCRIBED HER MARRIAGE AS CROWDED
Speaking to Bashir, Princess Diana pointed out that her marriage was crowded, referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. In response to her interviewer’s question about whether she thought Parker-Bowles had a hand in the breakdown of her marriage, Diana divulged:
“Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
She also admitted to always knowing about Prince Charles’ extramarital affair because of her instincts and the perceived changes in her husband’s behavioral pattern.
THE ROYALS OBJECTED TO “LEADING FROM THE HEART”
When asked why the royal family deemed her a non-starter in respect to her becoming the future queen, she explained that they had such an opinion because they were opposed to her methods. According to Diana, she did things differently and led from the heart, not the head which has gotten her into trouble on occasions.
PRINCESS DIANA BATTLED AN EATING DISORDER FOR YEARS
During the interview, the princess also went candid about her battle with Bulimia, which worsened following the discovery of her husband’s affair. As for how she came down with the condition, she noted:
“You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb and you don’t think you’re worthy or valuable. You fill your stomach up four or five times a day, some do it more, and it gives you a feeling of comfort.”
Going further, she admitted the frequency only increased during her marriage trials. She referred to her eating disorder as a symptom of what was going on in her life. Yet, rather than identify the disorder as her subtle cry for help, the royals saw it as the problem, leading to their conclusion that the princess was unstable.
DIANA ADOPTED OTHER SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIORS
Another way she coped with the emotional pains imposed on her by the royal life was by inflicting physical pain on herself. She began self-harming her body, mostly inflicting injuries on her arms and legs.
At that point in her life, Princess Diana admittedly despised herself and felt ashamed for her inability to cope with the pressures on her own.
SHADY DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE INTERVIEW YEARS LATER
Princess Diana’s BBC interview shook the world at the time, as it was the first time a serving royal spilled personal details about the royal household. In fact, divulging such details was against the rules. Hence, the interview easily became legendary, snagging several awards for both Bashir and BBC. It was soon dubbed “the interview of the century.”
However, in May 2021, over twenty-five years after the interview, an inquiry unveiled evidence that Martin Bashir landed his interview with Princess Diana using deceitful means. Retired judge, Lord Dyson, who conducted the inquiry accused BBC of falling short of high standards of integrity and transparency.
The inquiry led to the discovery that Bashir breached BBC rules by “mocking up” fake bank statements to enable him to gain access to the princess. Bashir reportedly showed the fake documents to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, to gain his trust.
That way, the Earl introduced him to Princess Diana. Soon enough, the journalist succeeded in convincing the Princess of Wales to grant the interview. Notably, the late princess released a follow-up letter confirming she had no regrets about her actions.
Although Bashir conducted his deceitful ploy without BBC’s consent, the Network soon discovered it following an internal inquiry a year later. BBC chose to cover up the discovery due to the growing media interest the interview garnered.
BBC has since apologized for Bashir’s deceitful act, their lack of transparency, and their failure to get to the bottom of the situation, all those years ago. The Network addressed apology letters to Prince Charles of Wales, Diana’s children Prince Harry and Prince William, and Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother.
Additionally, BBC returned all the awards and recognitions the interview had garnered in the last 25 years.
Bashir followed suit, dishing out his own apology, also admitting how much he regretted mocking up the documents. He described his actions as stupid but noted that his deceit had no bearing on Diana’s decision to honor the interview.
Following the apology, Prince William released a power-packed statement, condemning Bashir and BBC for contributing to Princess Diana’s paranoia and isolation before her death. Some members of the public have also lashed out at BBC, putting the Network in a position they may not recover from anytime soon.
Such outrage is imminent given the controversy surrounding the uncovering of this almost three-decade-long mystery.