It is November 1995. Princess Diana and Prince Charles are going through a separation. Charles had already explained his ongoing affair with Camilla Parker Bowles a year prior, but now it is time for Princess Diana's first solo press interview that Buckingham Palace knows nothing about. On November 20th, 1995, Princess Diana and journalist Martin Bashir sit down for an interview with the BBC.
Looking Back On A Controversial Interview
The pressing interview between Princess Diana and Martin Bashir covered a lot of topics that were deep and quite personal. Ranging from postpartum depression along with seeing another man besides Prince Charles, this interview was certainly talked about. This was the interview that promoted Princess Diana's press secretary to resign as well as the Queen to write a letter to the former couple, urging them to make their divorce final. It is clear that this interview was very revealing to the private matters of Princess Diana, but why is it being talked about today?
Earl Spencer Calls For An Investigation
Claims have just come out that the interviewer of this 1995 interview, Martin Bashir might have gone too far in trying to gain the trust of the royal family. Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana, has pushed for the BBC to conduct a formal investigation to be done concerning Bashir's creation of fake documents that were used to get Princess Diana to reveal more about her private life. The BBC has recently tried to contact Bashir but health complications following a case of COVID-19 and quadruple heart bypass surgery has prevented him from speaking on the matter. Instead, graphic designer Matt Wiessler, the man who was asked by Bashir to mock-up fake documents, has revealed his side to the story.
A Brand New Documentary
This is how Martin Bashir and the BBC Panorama team got inside Kensington Palace to record that famous interview with Princess Diana.#TheDianaInterview: Revenge of a Princess, tonight & tomorrow at 9pm on ITV and @ITVHub: https://t.co/GvHsT1tspW pic.twitter.com/BY68ayp1r7— ITV (@ITV) November 9, 2020
Soon after BBC's announcement to investigate came a documentary from ITV, interviewing Wiessler on the documents he was asked to make. These fake documents made it seem as though the royal family was getting ready to sell their story to news outlets. Spencer says that these documents and other deceptions are what made Princess Diana feel as though she was able to tell her story to Bashir in depth, which ended up making her relations with the royal family even worse.
In the documentary, Wiessler explains that upon mocking-up fake bank statements for Bashir, he experienced a break-in, with, of course, his work for Bashir to be stolen. After the interview aired, he recalls speaking to an apprehensive Bashir. Wiessler tells ITV:
""… all he could think of doing, was saying to me, 'Whatever you do, don't go to the media. Carry on talking to us. We're not doing anything… We didn't do anything wrong. You've to trust us on this.' I walked out of that restaurant, knowing that I had to go to the media. Because Martin was just simply in this instance, covering for himself."
The documentary, The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess aired Monday night and is available on ITV's website.
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