Although the BBC has apologised to the royal family over the circumstances surrounding the historic 1995 interview, a private letter published for the first time reveals the Princess Of Wales did not face ‘undue pressure’ to agree to the Panorama appearance.
It comes as the former director-general of the corporation has accepted the inquiry after it concluded that Bashir used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure the conversation.
Published as part of Lord Dyson’s inquiry into how Bashir managed to land the journalistic scoop of his life, Diana’s letter, dated a few days before Christmas in 1995, read: ‘Martin Bashir did not show me any documents, nor give me any information that I was not previously aware of.
‘I consented to the interview on Panorama without any undue pressure and have no regrets concerning the matter.’
The princess’ distinctive handwritten note was penned on December 22 1995 using her Kensington Palace headed note paper just over a month after the documentary was aired.
The note was written after Bashir was asked by BBC executives to provide evidence Diana had not been shown fake bank statements, relating to one of her brother’s staff and two senior members of the royal household, as he tried to gain access to her.
The mocked-up documents – commissioned by Bashir or likely created by him, Dyson’s report said – were shown to Diana’s sibling Earl Spencer in order to win his trust and falsely suggested the individuals named were receiving money for information.
When BBC executives began to investigate Bashir, Lord Dyson’s report said: ‘Mr Bashir gave them an account of the faking of the documents.
‘Crucially, he told them that he had not shown them to anyone. They accepted that he was telling them the truth, but asked him to provide independent evidence that Princess Diana had not been shown the documents.
‘Within a few hours, Mr Bashir obtained a note dated 22 December 1995, signed by her which supported what he had said. I am satisfied that the Diana note is a genuine document.’
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