Princess Diana Documentary Makers Defend Their Inclusion of Her 'Panorama' Interview Despite Prince William's Disapproval

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham / Getty)

A whopping 27 years after it first aired, Princess Diana's BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir is still causing grief.

The recently released HBO documentary The Princess chose to include a couple of clips from the controversial sit-down, which notably showed Diana delivering her heartbreaking, now-cult line, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," in reference to Prince Charles' affair with his now-wife Camilla.

In the years since the interview, many Royal Family members and friends have expressed their disappointment with the BBC for airing the interview, which Bashir has been said to have secured through manipulative means.

But the creators behind The Princess continue to feel justified in their inclusion of the Panorama clips. "This feature documentary tells the story of Princess Diana exclusively through archive footage from the time, without commentary from today," a spokesperson for the documentary told Us Weekly. "This interview is shown briefly, in context, as a moment of historical record."

The Princess includes these clips despite previous comments from Prince William, who expressed his wish that the interview no longer be aired.

He said in May 2021, "what saddens me most is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions."

He added, "It is my firm view that this Panorama program holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialized by the BBC and others."

Documentary makers have to make tough decisions: Do they exclude elements that may upset people, or do they privilege the narrative they're trying to tell? In the case of Princess Diana, as difficult as it is, it would very possibly feel like a strange omission to gloss over her tell-all interview, which was and continues to be so central to her story.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.