Princess Diana spoke candidly in her famous 1995 Panorama interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir — but she reportedly had some regrets about the tell-all moment. Her former butler claims that Diana was worried her children, Prince Harry and Prince William, would be embarrassed by her.
Princess Diana spoke openly about her marriage
Diana and Prince Charles had been legally separated at the time of the interview and she was quite open about how the reality of her marriage differed from her expectations.
When Bashir asked, “What were the expectations that you had for married life?,” Diana answered, “I think like any marriage, specially when you’ve had divorced parents like myself, you’d want to try even harder to make it work and you don’t want to fall back into a pattern that you’ve seen happen in your own family.”
“I desperately wanted it to work, I desperately loved my husband and I wanted to share everything together, and I thought that we were a very good team,” she added.
Diana dropped a bombshell line when discussing Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. When asked, “Do you think Mrs. Parker-Bowles was a factor in the breakdown of your marriage?,” Diana said, “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Her former butler claims Diana was worried about her sons’ reactions to the interview
Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, shared with Good Morning Britain how Diana had some worries about what Prince Harry and Prince William would think of what she said during the interview.
“The princess, she was a professional, she was briefed, she was rehearsed,” Burrell said of her interview. “The recording was on her terms, she said what she wanted to say.”
He continued, “But looking back on it, she did say to me she worried about speaking about her love life, about James Hewitt, and what the boys would think.”
“No children want to listen to their parents’ infidelity, it’s the same the world over,” he added. “She was worried that the boys would be embarrassed by that.”
Burrell spoke of his own friendship with Diana, explaining, “I knew her intimately. I think that the princess was very vulnerable at that time … However, she wanted to get her own side of the story across.”
Prince William was reportedly angry but later understood
Prince William, who was 13 at the time of the interview, was reportedly upset with his mother for revealing so much of their family’s private life.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl had shared details of Prince William’s reaction to his mother’s interview in the Amazon Prime documentary William and Harry: Brothers in Arms. “William was exposed to everything from the interview and called his mother in a fury and a rage,” she explained.
According to Nicholl, Diana’s friend Simone Simmons told her, “It was the one time William turned on his mother and said that he would never forgive Diana for what she’d done.”
He did forgive her soon after, however, and Prince William spoke about the interview in the 2017 documentary Diana, 7 Days.
“I can understand — having sometimes been in those situations, you feel incredibly desperate, and it is very unfair that things are being said that are untrue,” he said. “The easiest thing to do is just to say or go to the media yourself. Open that door, but once you’ve opened it you can never close it again.”
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