Prince William has “tentatively welcomed” an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding an explosive 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 investigation was “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 controversial interview, in which Diana famously said that “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to husband Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles — was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy.
The BBC announced Wednesday that it had appointed a retired senior judge to lead an investigation into the interview after Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, made renewed complaints this month that journalist Martin Bashir used false documents and other dishonest tactics to persuade 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 “mocked-up bank statements” that Spencer claimed Bashir produced, which purported to show that two senior royal aides were being paid to keep Diana under surveillance.
Diana and Charles divorced in 1996, and she died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was pursued by paparazzi. Charles married Parker-Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005.