Princess Diana's Friend Says Her Explosive BBC Panorama Interview Contributed to Her Death

Princess Diana's close friend, Rosa Monckton, says her infamous BBC Panorama interview played a role in her untimely death.

  • Years after her explosive, tell-all BBC interview, one of Princess Diana's closest friends says the sit-down contributed to the late royal's untimely death.
  • Although Diana died in a car accident in Paris while reportedly dodging paparazzi, her good friend Rosa Monckton says that the BBC Panorama interview played a role in the situation that led to Diana's death. 
  • Monckton believes the BBC interview led directly to Diana losing her royal title and the protection of the royal family. "Had she retained it, she would have still been in the embrace of the Royal Family when in Paris on August 31, 1997," Monckton said.

Princess Diana did things her own way as a royal and no moment epitomized that more than her explosive, now-infamous BBC Panorama interview. In the interview, Diana got incredibly candid about her private life, including the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles and his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles

According to Diana's close friend, Rosa Monckton, the late royal underwent a "sudden change" when she began meeting with journalist Martin Bashir about the tell-all interview.

"Diana changed from being very concerned with day-to-day matters, just like any normal friend, to suddenly becoming obsessed with plots against her," Monckton wrote in a piece for the Daily Mail.

Monckton said Diana "was in the grip of interviewer Martin Bashir, and there was not even a glimpse of the level-headed, fun-loving and compassionate person who was my friend" during the interview. What's more, Monckton sees the interview as an important turning point in Diana's life that "probably changed the course of history," and prompted divorce proceedings between Diana and her then-husband, Prince Charles. Because of the interview, Monckton believes those proceedings were rushed and that "decisions about their future were made hurriedly, with long-term implications not thought through."

This, according to Monckton, played a direct role in Diana's untimely death in Paris in August of 1997. In her Daily Mail piece, she writes: 

"Among those decisions was the fact that Diana lost her royal title. Had she retained it, she would have still been in the embrace of the Royal Family when in Paris on August 31, 1997. And she would almost certainly not have been in the incapable hands of a speeding drunk driver employed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, who owned the Ritz Hotel where she and his son, Dodi, had dined."

Monckton's assertion comes on the heels of renewed allegations against the BBC claiming that Bashir manipulated and lied to Diana to secure the career-making interview with with the royal. Although the BBC initially denied these allegations, saying that they were investigated when they were first raised at the time of the original interview, the broadcaster has since announced plans for a "robust and independent investigation" into the issue.

"The BBC is taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth. We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation. The recent stories have highlighted some concerning issues. The BBC must hold ourselves to the gold standard of journalism," Tim Davie, BBC's director-general, said, according to People

Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.