Diana’s private secretary ‘would have done anything to have BBC Panorama interview pulled’


PRINCESS DIANA’s private secretary claimed he would have “done anything” to get the royal’s bombshell interview with BBC Panorama interview pulled, according to a documentary.

Diana’s younger son, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan Markle, have just announced that they will be taking part in a 90-minute interview with TV host legend Oprah Winfrey. The announcement has stunned royal spheres, with some asking if the two will reveal what life is really like behind Palace walls and why they decided to quit the Royal Family last year — subsequently triggering a crisis within the monarchy. While the Queen is said to have complete faith in Harry and believes he will remain tight-lipped about the individual members of his family, a glance back at previous royal interviews proves they do not always go to plan.

Diana was interviewed by journalist Martin Bashir for BBC Panorama back in 1995 — the now famous programme was watched by nearly half of the UK, and is still a prominent part of the Royal Family’s history today.

When speaking to the BBC, the Princess of Wales revealed the extent of the infidelity in her relationship with Prince Charles, and uttered the now-famous line: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

She also claimed that her then-teenage son Prince William should ascend the throne ahead of his father, Charles, even though the Prince of Wales has been the heir apparent since he was three years old.

The interview has returned to the spotlight recently after allegations that the Princess was misled into agreeing to speak so openly with Mr Bashir.

The BBC is now investigating any wrongdoing more than 25 years later, with the backing of Downing Street, William and Harry.

Discussing the collapse of Charles and Diana’s marriage in the Amazon Prime documentary, ‘Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm’, the Princess of Wales’ top aide revealed the significance the interview had on the royal herself.

Princess Diana and her private secretary Patrick Jephson

Princess Diana and her private secretary Patrick Jephson (Image: Getty)

Diana's 1995 interview with Martin Bashir

Diana’s 1995 interview with Martin Bashir (Image: Getty)

Patrick Jephson, private secretary to Diana from 1988 to 1996, knew there was likely to be a large public fallout after Charles admitted to the BBC that he had been having a long-term affair with his former flame Camilla Parker Bowles.

Mr Jephson explained that he believed Diana wanted to get her own back on her estranged husband through her own confessional interview, and so attempted to dissuade her.

He told the documentary: “The thing that would make her look semi-divine would have been to forgive, publicly hold out a hand of reconciliation to the rest of the Royal Family.”

Yet, the voiceover claimed, “Diana was out for vengeance”, leading her to secretly record her own BBC interview in Kensington Palace.

Mr Jephson was aghast when he found out, and said: “I would have done anything to get that interview pulled because I felt it was so damaging to her own future interests.

Diana's BBC Panorama interview took place after Charles confessed to infidelity

Diana’s BBC Panorama interview took place after Charles confessed to infidelity (Image: Getty)

“She didn’t want me to see it. She didn’t want her lawyers to see it.

“She didn’t want anything to be known in advance about it.”

But, he noted: “The art of giving advice is knowing when your advice is not going to be taken.

“And then you have to switch to a different art — which is damage control.”

However, the interview was so astonishing at the time that it led the Queen to force the Prince and Princess of Wales to finalise their divorce, and quickly.

Diana allegedly regretted elements of the BBC Panorama interview

Diana allegedly regretted elements of the BBC Panorama interview (Image: Getty)

Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey will be released in March

Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey will be released in March (Image: Getty)

Then, in the divorce settlement, the Queen was sure to include a confidentiality agreement — meaning neither Diana nor Charles could speak about their marriage afterwards.

Many of Diana’s staff quit their roles including press secretary Geoffrey Crawford, as well, after the interview.

The Princess of Wales reportedly came to regret the interview in the years after.

Speaking to Sky News, royal commentator Jennie Bond claimed: “I asked her years after the interview whether she regretted it. 

Oprah Winfrey is a daytime TV star host in the US

Oprah Winfrey is a daytime TV star host in the US (Image: Getty)

“She told me she didn’t regret the interview but she regretted some of the phrases she used.”

Diana reportedly told her friends that she also regretted the interview because of the effect it had on her children — Prince William is said to have stopped talking to his mother for a period after the programme aired.

The results of the BBC investigation into the interview are yet to be revealed.


Diana Legacy Header Logo Image
inbox gif

Get Update News In Your Inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Latest Update News Images Videos of British Royal Family

↑ Grab this Headline Animator