‘Diana manipulated the media!’ Andrew Pierce hits out at Prince William in BBC Bashir row

Princess Diana: Commentators discuss relationship with media

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The whirlwind of media life was the “world Princess Diana operated in”, according to commentators defending her Panorama interview. Andrew Pierce and Kevin Maguire spoke to ITV’s Good Morning Britain about how late Princess of Wales’ “favoured” certain parts of the press. This comes after Prince William released a furious statement blaming “BBC failures” for his mother’s “paranoia” in the wake of a report finding that she had been convinced by “deceitful behaviour” to sit down with journalist Martin Bashir.

Mr Pierce told viewers: “We also have to remember that Princess Diana manipulated the media too to her ends.”

Mr Maguire added: “She had, many years earlier, cooperated with the Andrew Morton book.

“She had favoured journalists she would regularly meet and speak to.

“That was the world she operated in.”

He added: “But the sort of things that went on at the time were absolutely wrong.”

Host Susanna Reid also chimed in: “This was a rogue reporter at the BBC.

“But it wasn’t like everyone else left her alone.

“She was under siege constantly.”

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The Princess of Wales’ former Media Manager, Dickie Arbiter, also described her as a “manipulator”.

In an interview with the BBC ahead of the premiere of The Crown’s last season, the ex-aide said: “There’s Diana the cheated bride, but also Diana the manipulator when it comes to the media.

“She helped with the Andrew Morton book, she did Panorama.”

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William’s statement after the inquiry report claimed that the interview made his “parents’ relationship worse”.

The Duke of Cambridge also said that Mr Bashir’s lies “contributed significantly to [his mother’s] fear, paranoia and isolation”.

Prince Harry blamed toxic media culture at large for Diana’s death.

The Duke of Sussex’s separate statement insisted that the “ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices” was what ultimately took the royal’s life.

The Director General of the BBC, Tim Davie, has offered a full and unconditional apology.

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