‘The Crown’ will dedicate an entire episode to Princess Diana’s infamous interview with Martin Bashir.
The upcoming fifth season of Netflix’s regal drama will feature the end of the marriage of the late royal and her then-husband Prince Charles – who will be played by Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West respectively – and the 1995 sit-down chat on BBC TV series ‘Panorama’ is being regarded as the “keystone moment” in the series.
An insider told The Sun newspaper: “The Crown’s creators see the interview as the keystone moment in series five.
“To the writers, the stormy marriage between Charles and Di led up to her outpouring on Panorama, and the aftermath of that decision defined her final months.
“They are making a huge investment in that. ‘The Crown’ has a track record of delving into areas of the Royal Family’s history they’d rather be left alone.”
The interview – in which Diana famously declared there “were three of us in the marriage”, in reference to Charles’ then-mistress and now-wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall – was the subject of a damning report from Lord Dyson earlier this year, which exposed the deceptive methods Bashir had employed to persuade the princess to agree to the broadcast, including using faked bank statements purported to show payments into the accounts of members of the royal household.
Following the publication of the report – which also accused the BBC of being “woefully ineffective” at getting to the bottom of the presenter’s wrongdoing at the time – Diana’s son, Prince William, issued a damning statement and called for the interview to “never be aired again”.
The Duke of Cambridge said: “This ‘Panorama’ programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again.
“It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others.”
He also insisted the interview was a “major contribution” to the breakdown of his mother’s marriage to his father and accused the BBC of “contributing significantly” to Diana’s “fear and paranoia” that accompanied her until her death in a car crash in 1997.
He continued: “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.
“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.
“But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived.
“She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”