Princes Harry and William
Princes Harry and William (Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Princes William and Harry have both weighed in on the scandal surrounding their mother’s infamous 1995 Panorama interview with journalist Martin Bashir.

“It is my view that the deceitful way that the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” William, who is second in line to the British throne, said in a taped statement released yesterday. He claimed that he believes the “lurid and false claims about the royal family” made by BBC employees at the time exacerbated Diana’s paranoia in the final years of her life and further strained her relationship with Prince Charles. “It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, thanked those at the BBC who have held themselves accountable, but expressed concern that these sort of deceitful practices are ongoing. “Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication,” he said in a written statement. “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.”

The bombshell interview, in which Diana spoke openly about the disintegration of her marriage to Prince Charles and her struggles with bulimia, has been under scrutiny recently after allegations surfaced that Bashir forged documents to make it appear as if people close to Diana were being paid to spy on her. An independent inquiry found that while Diana claimed not to have been shown the documents, Bashir likely used them to convince her brother, Earl Spencer, to introduce him to the Princess. Bashir, who recently left the BBC, has admitted to falsifying checks and bank statements, calling it “a stupid thing to do.”