LONDON (AP) — Prince William has “tentatively welcomed” an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding a BBC interview in 1995 with his mother, Princess Diana, royal officials said Thursday.
William, who is second in line to the throne, said in a statement that the probe is “a step in the right direction.” He added that it “should help establish the truth behind the actions” that led to the interview as well as “subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”
The BBC announced Wednesday it has appointed a retired senior judge to lead an investigation into the 1995 interview after Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, made renewed complaints this month that journalist Martin Bashir used false documents and other dishonest tactics to convince Diana to agree to the interview.
The investigation will consider if the steps taken by the broadcaster and Bashir were appropriate, and whether those actions influenced Diana’s decision to give the interview. It will also look into how much the BBC knew about the “mocked-up bank statements” that Charles Spencer claimed Bashir produced, purporting to show payments made to staff working for Spencer and the royal family.
The 1995 interview, in which Diana famously said “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles — was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy.
Diana divorced from Charles in 1996 and died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was pursued by paparazzi. Charles married Camilla, now the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005.