Princess Diana Reportedly Knew Royal Family Would Want Her to Divorce Charles After BBC Interview

"She said, 'They’ll now want me to divorce...'"

prince charles and his pregnant wife princess diana 1961 1997 at the chelsea flower show, london, may 1984 she is wearing a navy maternity coat by jan van velden photo by jayne fincherprincess diana archivegetty images
(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive)

Princess Diana's infamous 1995 BBC Panorama interview has been in the spotlight this year after the outlet issued an investigation—and later, an apology—into the tactics journalist Martin Bashir used (opens in new tab) to secure the sit-down. Now it's once again in being talked about ahead of an upcoming ITV documentary about the Princess of Wales. The Independent reports  (opens in new tab)that in the new doc marking what would have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday, journalist Richard Kay—a friend of Hasnat Khan, Diana's ex-boyfriend—claims Khan believed Diana anticipated the Royal Family's reaction to her stunning interview. (opens in new tab)

"We all know Diana was tricked or fed things, but I learned something quite interesting recently and it came from Hasnat Khan, and he told me that she knew what she was doing," Kay says, according to the Independent. "She said 'I know how the royals react to this. I know what they’ll do,' and she said 'they’ll now want me to divorce.'"

Diana and Prince Charles formally divorced in August 1996, a year after the interview aired in which she famously said "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." The couple had separated in 1992.

princess diana and prince charles pose with their sons princes harry and william on board royal yacht britannia during their visit to venice, italy, 6th may 1985 photo by mirrorpixgetty images

(Image credit: Mirrorpix)

A friend of Diana's, Rosa Monckton, said last year (opens in new tab) that the deceitful tactics used to gain the interview convinced the princess that there were "plots against her." Following the explosive interview, decisions about Diana's future with Charles "were made hurriedly, with long-term implications not thought through," Monckton wrote for the Mail. "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."

After the results of the BBC investigation were released in May, both of Diana's sons issued statements reacting to the findings.

"The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others," the Duke of Cambridge said in a video statement. "It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her."

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"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," the Duke of Sussex shared  (opens in new tab)in his own statement. "Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for."