August 31 will mark 25 years that Princess Diana died in a tragic car crash in Paris. Her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, always honor the day privately and in somber reflection, with Harry, now 37, traditionally sending flowers to his mother’s final resting place on the grounds of Althorp Park, her family home.
But this year, the anniversary is also being marked by a new documentary, “The Princess,” which premieres Aug. 13 on HBO and HBO Max. The movie, directed, by Ed Perkins, uses thousands of hours of archive footage to tell the life story of Diana, who passed away at age 36. Included are scenes of her notorious BBC interview with journalist Martin Bashir, who has since been revealed as having used spurious methods to secure it.
And Harry and William are said to be split on the footage being used.
“William and Harry are united in their distaste for the BBC and Bashir’s ethics regarding the interview. But they do have differing opinions,” one palace insider told Page Six.
While William, 40, has said that the episode should be locked away in the BBC vaults, never to be viewed again, Harry disagrees, according to multiple sources in the know.
“Harry has more condemnation for the media in this case, rather than the actual interview, and is said to not want the footage erased from history,” said the palace insider. “This is something that came together in the wrong way, but in the end it is still part of Diana’s story.”
Palace sources believe neither prince was asked about the footage being use for the documentary.
Perkins has included a five-minute chunk of the now-infamous “Panorama” interview Diana gave to Bashir in 1995, in which she broke her silence on Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, saying: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
But in May of 2021, a report by British judge Lord Dyson found that Bashir had duped Diana into the interview by using fake documents that purported to show staffers were taking money in exchange for planting stories about her in the media.
The report also found that BBC bosses tried to cover it up.
Afterward, Diana’s sons issued a statement saying the Bashir interview fueled their mother’s “fear, paranoia and isolation,” and eventually led to her death. Diana was in a car being chased by paparazzi when it crashed in the Tunnel de l’Alma in Paris.
“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others,” said William.
“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life,” Harry added.
Just last month, BBC chief Tim Davie stated the broadcaster would never air the interview again after being forced to pay out substantial damages to William and Harry’s childhood nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, over false allegations she had an affair with Charles.
Bashir made the claims in a bid to persuade Diana to appear on camera.
Reps for William and Harry declined to comment about the new documentary to Page Six.
Davie has said: “Now we know about the shocking way that the interview was obtained I have decided that the BBC will never show the program again; nor will we license it in whole or part to other broadcasters.”
A BBC spokesperson told Page Six they did not license the interview to “The Princess” filmmakers, saying: “There are no live or outstanding licenses for any or all of ‘An Interview with HRH The Princess of Wales’ (‘Panorama,’ 20/11/95) granted by any part of BBC Studios.”
A film source told Page Six that, as the footage is considered “fair use,” there was no need to ask the BBC.
A spokesperson for “The Princess” said: “This feature documentary tells the story of Princess Diana exclusively through archive footage from the time, without commentary from today. This interview is shown briefly, in context, as a moment of historical record.”
The interview — watched by 23 million people worldwide — is thought to have contributed to Diana’s divorce from Charles in 1996. Bashir showed Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, false bank statements which suggested his former head of security had been receiving money from tabloids and the security services to spy on his sister.