Harry & Meghan: First look at final three Netflix episodes
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The Duke of Sussex mentioned the interview between ex-BBC reporter Martin Bashir and Princess Diana in the first episode of Harry & Meghan. In the newly-released Netflix docu-series, Prince Harry praised his mother for trying to “protect” him and his brother Prince William from the media attention and the paparazzi when they were children.
Before images of Diana confronting a photographer during a skiing holiday with her children flashed on the screen, the Duke said: “She took it upon herself to basically confront these people.”
The Duke then added: “I think she had to live the experience of how she was struggling, living that life. She felt compelled to talk about it… especially in that Panorama interview.”
Speaking of the controversial programme, Harry then said: “I think we all now know she was deceived into giving the interview, but at the same time, she spoke the truth of her experience.”
The docu-series then showed clips from the sit-down interview aired in November 1995 by the BBC.
The choice to include images from the Panorama interview may upset Prince William.
Last year, after the damning Lord Dyson report found Mr Bashir had obtained access to Diana by using deceitful means including faking bank statements and claiming Charles’s wife was being spied on, the heir to the throne said in a blistering statement: “It is my firm view that 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.
“This settled narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events.”
The “lurid and false” claims used by Mr Bashir to gain access to Diana and push her to speak to him “played on her fears and fuelled paranoia”, William also said.
While Harry believes his mother “spoke her truth”, the Prince of Wales said in his statement: “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.
“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.”
In the wake of the Lord Dyson report, the Duke of Sussex also released a personal statement.
He said: “Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest.
“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.
“To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse – are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.
“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.”
Earlier this year, Tim Davie, the BBC’s director-general, announced the publicly-funded organisation would never air nor licence to other broadcasters the Panorama interview.
He added: “It does of course remain part of the historical record and there may be occasions in the future when it will be justified for the BBC to use short extracts for journalistic purposes, but these will be few and far between and will need to be agreed at Executive Committee level and set in the full context of what we now know about the way the interview was obtained. I would urge others to exercise similar restraint.”
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