Prince William has broken his silence on the BBC probe into Princess Diana’s Panorama interview, saying he “tentatively welcomed the investigation”.
The Duke of Cambridge said he supported the investigation to determine if reporter Martin Bashir falsified documents to manipulate the Princess into participating in an intense interview.
“The independent investigation is a step in the right direction,” Prince William said in a statement.
“It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”
The investigation came at the behest of Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, who revealed Bashir used forged bank statements to imply two senior courtiers were being paid to reveal information about her.
Prince William is the first senior royal to directly address the investigation.
A royal leak…
It seems Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have their own shady dealings with journalists to address, with new information confirming Markle contributed to the royal memoir, Finding Freedom.
After months of denying she had anything to do with it, the Duchess of Sussex has finally come clean about whether or not she leaked personal information to authors Omid Scoobie and Carolyn Durand.
Markle admitted that she had, in fact, spoken with a third party who was in contact with the authors, in order to set the record straight about her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
In documents released amid her court battle against Associated Newspapers, the 39-year-old’s legal team said the “co-operation” wasn’t to “enhance her image”, but aimed to ensure the narrative of abandonment that her father had painted in the media wouldn’t make it into the book.
The documents also clarify that neither the Duke or Duchess were interviewed directly for the memoir.
“Accordingly, she indicated to a person whom she knew had already been approached by the authors that the true position as above … could be communicated to the authors to prevent any further misrepresentation.”
This contradicts the statement the royals made upon the book’s release in July, which claimed they had no hand in the book.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom,” the statement said.
“This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”
But Markle’s awkward backtrack isn’t the only stunning revelation to come out of her delayed trial.
Invasion of privacy or image correction?
Markle’s ongoing battle with Associated Newspapers, which owns The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, may now involve some other major members of the monarchy.
Court documents obtained by The Times suggest Markle was encouraged to write the now-infamous letter to her father by two members of the royal family.
Though they are not named directly in the documents, the royals are believed to be the Queen and Prince Charles.
“In accordance with the advice that she had received from the two members of the Royal Family, the [duchess] decided (in about the first week of August 2018) to write a private letter to her father in an attempt to get him to stop talking to the press,” the documents said.
The Duchess’s case against Associated Newspapers is based on a breach of privacy, after they published part of the letter.
The documents also claimed Markle had spent many hours over several weeks editing the letter and sharing it with her husband and Jason Knauf, who was the communications secretary for the Sussexes and the Cambridges at the time.
Associated Newspapers argued that, like Finding Freedom, Markle used the letter as a media opportunity, stating it was sent “for use as part of a media strategy to improve or enhance her image and/or realising that it was likely to be disclosed to the public”.